Idioms and Expressions - Like

norwegian horses
bagsgroove/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The following English idioms and expressions use the word 'like'. Each idiom or expression has a definition and two example sentences to help ​your understanding of these common idiomatic expressions with 'like'. 

English Idioms and Expressions

Eat like a horse

Definition: usually eat a lot of food

  • Tom eats like a horse! Make sure to grill three hamburgers for him.
  • He doesn't usually eat like a horse.

Eat like a bird

Definition: usually eat very little food

  • She eats like a bird, so don't make too much for dinner.
  • He weighs 250 pounds even though he eats like a bird.

Feel like a million

Definition: feel very good and happy

  • I'm feeling like a million today. I just got a new job!
  • After his promotion, he felt like a million.

Fit like a glove

Definition: clothes or apparel that fit perfectly

  • My new shoes fit like a glove.
  • Her jeans fit like a glove after she went on a diet.

Go like clockwork

Definition: to happen very smoothly, without problems

  • The presentation went like clockwork.
  • Her plans went like clockwork and she was able to join the company.

Know someone or something like the back of one's hand

Definition: know in every detail, understand completely

  • She knows me like the back of her hand.
  • I know this project like the back of my hand.

Like a bat out of hell

Definition: very fast, quickly

  • He left the room like a bat out of hell.
  • They drove off like a bat out of hell.

Like a bump on a log

Definition: not moving

  • Don't sit there like a bump on a log!
  • She sits around all day like a bump on a log.

Like a fish out of water

Definition: completely out of place, not belonging at all

  • He looks like a fish out of water on the football field.
  • The boss felt like a fish out of water in San Francisco.

    Like a sitting duck

    Definition: be very exposed to something

    • He felt like a sitting duck and moved to cover his position.
    • Your investments have left you like a sitting duck in this market.

    Out like a light

    Definition: fall asleep quickly

    • He went out like a light.
    • I hit the pillow and was out like a light.

    Read someone like a book

    Definition: understand the other person's motivation for doing something

    • She can read me like a book.
    • I know you don't mean that. I can read you like a book.

    Sell like hotcakes

    Definition: sell very well, very quickly

    • The book sold like hotcakes.
    • The iPhone initially sold like hotcakes.

    Sleep like a log

    Definition: sleep very deeply

    • I was tired and slept like a log.
    • She went home and slept like a log.

    Spread like wildfire

    Definition: an idea that gets known very quickly

    • His solution to the problem spread like wildfire.
    • Her opinions spread like wildfire.

    Watch someone like a hawk

    Definition: keep a very close eye on someone, watch very carefully

    • Don't make any mistakes because I'm watching you like a hawk.
    • She watches her son like a hawk whenever he goes outside to play.