'Like' Used in Idioms and Expressions

Norwegian horses eating hay
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.'

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.
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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "'Like' Used in Idioms and Expressions." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/idioms-and-expressions-like-1212338. Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 27). 'Like' Used in Idioms and Expressions. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/idioms-and-expressions-like-1212338 Beare, Kenneth. "'Like' Used in Idioms and Expressions." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/idioms-and-expressions-like-1212338 (accessed May 30, 2023).