170+ List of Idioms Starting with H | Idioms with Meaning

Idioms Starting with H | An idiom is a phrase or expression that typically presents a figurative, non-literal meaning attached to the phrase. Some phrases which become figurative idioms, however, do retain the phrase’s literal meaning. Categorized as formulaic language, an idiom’s figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning.

Here are the list some of the Idioms starting with H:

idioms starting with h
idioms starting with h

Idioms Starting with H

Sr. No.IdiomMeaning
1Hail-fellow-well-metSomeone whose behavior is hearty, friendly and congenial.
2Hair of the dogIf someone has a hair of the dog, they have an alcoholic drink as a way of getting rid of a hangover, the unpleasant effects of having drunk too much alcohol the night before. It is commonly used as a way of excusing having a drink early on in the day.
3Hairy at the heelSomeone who is hairy at the heel is dangerous or untrustworthy.
4Hale and heartySomeone who is hale and hearty is in very good health.
5Half a loaf is better than no breadIt means that getting part of what you want is better than getting nothing at all.
6Half a mindIf you have half a mind to do something, you haven’t decided to do it, but are thinking seriously about doing it.
7Half-bakedA half-baked idea or scheme hasn’t not been thought through or planned very well.
8Hammer and tongsIf people are going at it hammer and tongs, they are arguing fiercely. The idiom can also be used hen people are doing something energetically.
9Hand in gloveIf people are hand in glove, they have an extremely close relationship.
10Hand in handHand in hand= work together closely When people in a group, say in an office or in a project, work together with mutual understanding to achieve the target, we say they work hand in hand. There is no lack of co-operation and each synchronizes the activity with that of the other.
11Hand that rocks the cradleWomen have a great power and influence because they have the greatest influence over the development of children- the hand that rocks the cradle. (‘The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world’ is the full form.)
12Hand to mouthSomeone who’s living from hand to mouth, is very poor and needs the little money they have coming in to cover their expenses.
13Hands downIf someone is better hands down than everyone else, they are much better.
14Handwriting like chicken scratchIf your handwriting is very hard to read, it is like chicken scratch.
15Hang by a threadIf something hangs by a thread, there is a very small chance indeed of it being successful or surviving.
16Hang in the balanceIf an outcome is hanging in the balance, there are at least two possibilities and it is impossible to predict which will win out.
17Hang out to dryIf you hang someone out to dry, you abandon them when they are in trouble.
18Hangdog expressionA hangdog expression is one where the person’s showing their emotions very clearly, maybe a little too clearly for your liking. It’s that mixture of misery and self-pity that is similar to a dog when it’s trying to get something it wants but daren’t take without permission.
19Hanged for a sheep as a lambThis is an expression meaning that if you are going to get into trouble for doing something, then you ought to stop worrying and should try to get everything you can before you get caught.
20Happy mediumIf you reach a happy medium, you are making a compromise; reaching a conclusion or decision.

21Happy-go-luckyIf someone is happy-go-lucky, they don’t worry or plan and accept things as they happen.
22Hard as nailsA person who is as hard as nails is either physically tough or has little or no respect for other people’s feelings.
23Hard by“Hard by” means mean “close to” or “near”.
24Hard cheeseHard cheese means hard luck.
25Hard of hearingSomeone who’s hard of hearing is a bit deaf.
26Hard on someone’s heelsIf you are hard on someone’s heels, you are close to them and trying to catch or overtake them. (‘Hot on someone’s heels’ is also used.)
27Hard sellIf someone puts a lot of pressure on you to do or buy something, they are hard selling it.
28Hard to come byIf something is hard to come by, it is difficult to find.
29Hard upIf you are hard up, you have very little money.
30Haste makes wasteThis idiom means that if you try to do something quickly, without planning it, you’re likely to end up spending more time, money, etc, doing it.
31Hat trickThree successes one after the other is a hat trick.
32Hatchet jobA piece of criticism that destroys someone’s reputation is a hatchet job.
33Have a ballIf you have a ball, you have a great time, a lot of fun.
34Have a bashIf you have a bash at something, you try to do it, especially when there isn’t much chance of success.
35Have a blastIt means “to have a lot of fun”.
36Have a crackIf you have a crack at something, you try to do it. If someone is attempting to do something and they are unsuccessful, you might say, “Let me have a crack at it” suggesting that you might be successful at performing the task. (‘Take a crack’ is also used.)
37Have a goIf you have a go, you try to do something, often when you don’t think you have much chance of succeeding.
38Have a heartIf someone has a heart, they arekind and sympathetic. If you say, ‘Have a heart’ to someone, you are asking them to be understanding and sympathetic.
39Have a ripperIf you have a ripper of a time, you enjoy yourself.
40Have a trick up your sleeveIf you have a trick up your sleeve, you have a secret strategy to use when the time is right.

41Have no truck withIf you have no truck with something or someone, you refuse to get involved with it or them.
42Have the floorIf someone has the floor, it is their turn to speak at a meeting.
43Have the gutsSomeone who has enough courage to do something has the guts to do it.
44Have your cake and eat it tooIf someone wants to have their cake and eat it too, they want everything their way, especially when their wishes are contradictory.
45Have your collar feltIf someone has their collar felt, they are arrested.
46Have your fillIf you have had your fill, you are fed up of somebody or something.
47Have your lunch handed to youIf you have you lunch handed to you, you are outperformed and shown up by someone better.
48Have your momentsSomeone who has his or her moments exhibits a positive behavior pattern on an occasional basis but not generally.
49Have your tail upIf someone has their tail up, they are optimistic and expect to be successful.
50Have your work cut outIf you have your work cut out, you are very busy indeed.
51Having a gasIf you’re having a gas, you are having a laugh and enjoying yourself in company.
52Hay is for horsesThis idiom is used as a way of telling children not to say the word ‘hey’ as in hey you or hey there.
53He that travels far knows muchPeople who travel widely have a wide knowledge.
54He who hesitates is lostIf one waits too long, the opportunity vanishes.
55Head for the hillsIf people head for the hills, they run away from trouble.
56Head is in the cloudsIf a person has their head in the clouds, they have unrealistic, impractical ideas.
57Head is minceWhen someone’s thoughts are in a state of abject confusion, especially when facing a severe dilemma, their head is mince.
58Head nor tailIf you can’t make head nor tail of something, you cannot understand it at all or make any sense of it.
59Head on a spikeIf someone wants a head on a spike, they want to be able to destroy or really punish a person.
60Head on the blockIf someone’s head is on the block, they are going to be held responsible and suffer the consequences for something that has gone wrong.

61Head over heels in loveWhen someone falls passionately in love and is intoxicated by the feeling has fallen head over heels in love.
62Head southIf something head south, it begins to fail or start going bad.’The project proceeded well for the first two months, but then it headed south.’
63Heads will rollIf heads will roll, people will be punished or sacked for something that has gone wrong.
64HeadstrongA headstrong person is obstinate and does not take other people’s advice readily.
65Healthy as a horseIf you’re as healthy as a horse, you’re very healthy.
66Heap coals on someone’s headTo do something nice or kind to someone who has been nasty to you. If someone felt bad because they forgot to get you a Christmas gift, for you to buy them a specially nice gift is heaping coals on their head. (‘Heap coals of fire’ is also used.)
67Hear a pin dropIf there is complete silence in a room, you can hear a pin drop.
68Hear on the grapevineTo receive information indirectly through a series of third parties, similar to a rumour.
69Heart in the right placeIf someone’s heart is in the right place, they are good and kind, though they might not always appear to be so.
70Heart in your bootsIf you’re heart is in your boots, you are very unhappy.
71Heart in your mouthIf your heart is in your mouth, then you feel nervous or scared.
72Heart isn’t in itIf your heart is not in something, then you don’t really believe in it or support it.
73Heart misses a beatIf your heart misses a beat, you are suddenly shocked or surprised. (‘Heart skips a beat’ is an alternative)
74Heart of glassWhen someone has a heart of glass, they are easily affected emotionally.
75Heart of goldSomeone with a heart of gold is a genuinely kind and caring person.
76Heart of steelWhen someone has a heart of steel, they do not show emotion or are not affected emotionally.
77Heart-to-heartA heart-to-heart is a frank and honest conversation with someone, where you talk honestly and plainly about issues, no matter how painful.
78Heaven knowsIf you ask someone a question and they say this, they have no idea.
79Heavenly bodiesThe heavenly bodies are the stars.
80Heavy-handedIf someone is heavy-handed, they are insensitive and use excessive force or authority when dealing with a problem.

81Hedge your betsIf you hedge your bets, you don’t risk everything on one opportunity, but try more than one thing.
82Hell for leatherIf you do something hell for leather, especially running, you do it as fast as you can.
83Hell in a handcartIf something is going to hell in a handcart, it is getting worse and worse, with no hope of stopping the decline.
84Herding catsIf you have to try to co-ordinate a very difficult situation, where people want to do very different things, you are herding cats.
85Here today, gone tomorrowMoney, happiness and other desirable things are often here today, gone tomorrow, which means that they don’t last for very long.
86Hide nor hairWhen there’s no trace of something or a person, you haven’t seen hide nor hair of it or them.(‘Neither hide nor hair’ is also used.)
87Hiding to nothingIf people are on a hiding to nothing, their schemes and plans have no chance of succeeding. ‘Hiding to nowhere’ is an alternative.
88High and dryIf you are left high and dry, you are left alone and given no help at all when you need it.
89High and lowIf you search high and low, you look everywhere for something or someone.
90High and mightyThe high and mighty are the people with authority and power. If a person is high and mighty, they behave in a superior and condescending way.
91High as a kiteIf someone’s as high as a kite, it means they have had too much to drink or are under the influence of drugs.
92High on the hogTo live in great comfort with lots of money.
93High-handedIf someone is high-handed, they behave arrogantly and pompously.
94High-wire actA high-wire act is a dangerous or risky strategy, plan, task, etc.
95Highway robberySomething that is ridiculously expensive, especially when you have no choice but to pay, is a highway robbery.
96Himalayan blunderA Himalayan blunder is a very serious mistake or error.
97Hindsight is twenty-twentyAfter something has gone wrong, it is easy to look back and make criticisms.
98Hit a nerveIf something hits a nerve, it upsets someone or causes them pain, often when it is something they are trying to hide.
99Hit and missSomething that is hit and miss is unpredictable and may produce results or may fail.
100Hit me with your best shotIf someone tells you to hit them with your best shot, they are telling you that no matter what you do it won’t hurt them or make a difference to them.

Read More – Past Indefinite Tense Examples in Hindi

101Hit rock bottomWhen someone hits rock bottom, they reach a point in life where things could not get any worse.
102Hit rough weatherIf you hit rough weather, you experience difficulties or problems.
103Hit the airwavesIf someone hits the airwaves, they go on radio and TV to promote something or to tell their side of a story.
104Hit the booksIf you hit the books, you study or read hard.
105Hit the bull’s-eyeIf someone hits the bull’s-eye, they are exactly right about something or achieve the best result possible. “Bulls-eye” and “bullseye” are alternative spellings.
106Hit the ceilingIf someone hits the ceiling, they lose their temper and become very angry.
107Hit the fanWhen it hits the fan, or, more rudely, the shit hits the fan, serious trouble starts.
108Hit the ground runningIf someone hits the ground running, they start a new job or position in a very dynamic manner.
109Hit the hayWhen you hit the hay, you go to bed.
110Hit the markIf someone hits the mark, they are right about something.
111Hit the nail on the headIf someone hits the nail on the head, they are exactly right about something.
112Hit the roadWhen people hit the road, they leave a place to go somewhere else.
113Hit the roofIf you lose your temper and get very angry, you hit the roof.
114Hit the sackWhen you hit the sack, you go to bed.
115Hive of worker beesA hive of worker bees is a group of people working actively and cooperatively. Example: The classroom was a hive of worker bees.
116Hobson’s choiceA Hobson’s choice is something that appears to be a free choice, but is really no choice as there is no genuine alternative.
117Hoist with your own petardIf you are hoist with your own petard, you get into trouble or caught in a trap that you had set for someone else.
118Hold all the acesIf you hold all the aces, you have all the advantages and your opponents or rivals are in a weak position.
119Hold the babyIf someone is responsible for something, they are holding the baby.
120Hold the bagIf someone is responsible for something, they are holding the bag.

121Hold the fortIf you hold the fort, you look after something or assume someone’s responsibilities while they are away.
122Hold the torchIf you hold the torch for someone, you have an unrequited or unspoken love.
123Hold waterWhen you say that something does or does not ‘hold water’, it means that the point of view or argument put forward is or is not sound, strong or logical. For e.g., ‘Saying we should increase our interest rates because everyone else is doing so will not hold water’.
124Hold your horsesIf someone tells you to hold your horses, you are doing something too fast and they would like you to slow down.
125Hold your ownIf you can hold your own, you can compete or perform equally with other people.
126Hold your tongueIf you hold your tongue, you keep silent even though you want to speak.
127Holier-than-thouSomeone who is holier-than-thou believes that they are morally superior to other people.
128Hollow legSomeone who has a hollow leg eats what seems to be more than his stomach can hold.
129Hollow victoryA hollow victory is where someone wins something in name, but are seen not to have gained anything by winning.
130Holy smoke!This is a way of expressing surprise: “Holy smoke! Look at all of those geese!”
131Home and hearth‘Home and hearth’ is an idiom evoking warmth and security.
132Home is where you lay your hatWherever you are comfortable and at ease with yourself is your home, regardless where you were born or brought up.(‘Home is where you lay your head’ and ‘Home is where you hang your hat’ are also used.)
133Home stretchThe home stretch is the last part of something, like a journey, race or project.
134Home sweet homeThis is said when one is pleased to be back at one’s own home.
135Home, JamesThis is a cliched way of telling the driver of a vehicle to start driving. It is supposed to be an order to a chauffeur (a privately employed driver). The full phrase is ‘Home, James, and don’t spare the horses’.
136Honest truthIf someone claims that something is the honest truth, they wish to sound extra sincere about something.
137Honor among thievesIf someone says there is honor among thieves, this means that even corrupt or bad people sometimes have a sense of honor or integrity, or justice, even if it is skewed. (‘Honour among thieves’ is the British English version.)
138Honors are evenIf honors are even, then a competition has ended with neither side emerging as a winner.
139Hook, line, and sinkerIf somebody accepts or believes something hook, line, and sinker, they accept it completely.
140Hop, skip, and a jumpIf a place is a hop, skip, and a jump from somewhere, it’s only a short distance away.

141Hope against hopeIf you hope against hope, you hope for something even though there is little or no chance of your wish being fulfilled.
142Hope in hellIf something hasn’t got a hope in hell, it stands absolutely no chance of succeeding.
143Hornets’ nestA hornets’ nest is a violent situation or one with a lot of dispute. (If you create the problem, you ‘stir up a hornets’ nest’.)
144Horns of a dilemmaIf you are on the horns of a dilemma, you are faced with two equally unpleasant options and have to choose one.
145Horse of a different colorIf something is a horse of a different color, it’s a different matter or separate issue altogether.
146Horse tradingHorse trading is an idiom used to describe negotiations, especially where these are difficult and involve a lot of compromise.
147Horses for coursesHorses for courses means that what is suitable for one person or situation might be unsuitable for another.
148Hostile takeoverIf a company is bought out when it does not want to be, it is known as a hostile takeover.
149Hot airLanguage that is full of words but means little or nothing is hot air.
150Hot as blue blazesIf something’s as hot as blue blazes, it’s extremely hot.
151Hot as HadesIf something’s as hot as Hades, it’s extremely hot.
152Hot buttonA hot button is a topic or issue that people feel very strongly about.
153Hot footIf you hot foot it out of a place, you leave very quickly, often running.
154Hot ticketA hot ticket is something that is very much in demand at the moment.
155Hot to trotIf someone is hot to trot, they are sexually aroused or eager to do something.
156Hot under the collarIf you’re hot under the collar, you’re feeling angry or bothered.
157Hot waterIf you get into hot water, you get into trouble.
158Hot-bloodedSomeone who is hot-blooded is easily excitable or passionate.
159Hot-headedA hot-headed person gets angry very easily. (The noun ‘hothead’ can also be used.)
160Hour of needA time when someone really needs something, almost a last chance, is their hour of need.

161House of cardsSomething that is poorly thought out and can easily collapse or fail is a house of cards.
162How comeIf you want to show disbelief or surprise about an action, you can ask a question using ‘how come’. How come he got the job? (You can’t believe that they gave the job to somebody like him)
163How do you like them applesThis idiomatic expression is used to express surprise or shock at something that has happened. It can also be used to boast about something you have done.
164How long is a piece of stringIf someone has no idea of the answer to a question, they can ask ‘How long is a piece of string?’ as a way of indicating their ignorance.
165How’s tricks?This is used as a way of asking people how they are and how things have been going in their life.
166Hue and cryHue and cry is an expression that used to mean all the people who joined in chasing a criminal or villain. Nowadays, if you do something without hue and cry, you do it discreetly and without drawing attention.
167Hung the moonIf you refer to someone as having hung the moon, you think they are extremely wonderful, or amazing, or good.
168Hungry as a bearIf you are hungry as a bear, it means that you are really hungry.
169Hunky DoryIf something is hunky dory, it is perfectly satisfactory, fine.

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