Weather Idioms List with Meanings

Free Weather Idioms List with Examples for ESL teachers and students, to learn idioms or prepare ESL lesson plans. (Free download available.)

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List of Weather Idioms

Any port in a storm

In an emergency, any solution will do; even one that would normally be unacceptable.

Blue skies

An overly enthusiastic outlook or disposition.

A bolt from the blue

When something happens unexpectedly and suddenly.

To brighten up the day

Making someone feel positive and happy all day long.

The calm before the storm

A calm time immediately before a period of violent activity or argument.

To chase rainbows

To try to do something that you will never achieve.

On cloud nine

To b extremely happy.

A cloud of suspicion (is hanging over someone)

Someone is not believed or is distrusted.

A cloud on the horizon

A problem which can be seen ahead.

To see something in the cold light of day

Seeing things as they really are, not as you might want them to be.

Come rain or shine, …

Nothing will deter or stop me from doing something (not even bad weather).

To be (down) in the doldrums

To be depressed, lacking energy, or in a hopeless state (persons or situations).

Having a dry spell

To not be as successful as you normally are.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

It is always possible to get something positive out of a situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or even painful it might seem.

Have face like thunder

Be very upset about something.

A fairweather friend

A friend who is always there when times are good but forgets about you when things get difficult or problems crop up.

To get wind of

To hear or learn about something, especially if it was meant to be secret.

To go down a storm

To be very enjoyable or successful.

To move like a greased lightning

To move very fast.

Have the head is in the clouds

To have unrealistic, impractical ideas.

To hit rough weather

If you hit rough weather, you experience difficulties or problems.

In a fog

If you’re in a fog, you are confused, dazed or unaware.

Into each life some rain must fall

This means that bad or unfortunate things will happen to everyone at some time.

It never rains but it pours

‘It never rains but it pours’ means that when things go wrong, they go very wrong.

It’s raining cats and dogs

it’s raining very hard.

Know which way the wind blows

This means that you should know how things are developing and be prepared for the future.

Made in the shade

One has an easy time in life or in a given situation. Finding things working to one’s benefit.

Not know enough to come in out of the rain

Someone who doesn’t know enough to come in out of the rain is particularly stupid.

Quiet before the Storm

When you know that something is about to go horribly wrong, but hasn’t just yet, then you are in the quiet before the storm.

Quick as a flash / quick as a lightning

If you’re as quick as a flash, or quick as a wink, or quick as lightning, you’re very quick.

Rain on your parade

If someone rains on your parade, they ruin your pleasure or your plans.

Rainy day

If you save something, especially money, for a rainy day, you save it for some possible problem or trouble in the future.

Right as rain

If things are right as rain, then everything is going well in your life.

Sail close to the wind

If you sail close to the wind, you take risks to do something, going close to the limit of what is allowed or acceptable.

Seven sheets to the wind

If someone is seven sheets to the wind, they are very drunk.

Shoot the breeze

When you shoot the breeze, you chat in a relaxed way.

Steal someone’s thunder

If someone steals your thunder, they take the credit and praise for something you did.

Stem the tide

If people try to stem the tide, they are trying to stop something unpleasant from getting worse, usually when they don’t succeed.

Storm in a teacup

If someone exaggerates a problem or makes a small problem seem far greater than it really is, then they are making a storm in a teacup.

Take a raincheck

If you take a rain check, you decline an offer now, suggesting you will accept it later. (‘Raincheck’ is also used.)

Take by storm

To take by storm means to captivate- eg. A new play that took New York City by storm.

Tempest in a teapot / storm in a teapot

If people exaggerate the seriousness of a situation or problem, they are making a tempest in a teapot.

Throw caution to the wind

When people throw caution to the wind, they take a great risk.

Twisting in the wind

If you are twisting in the wind, you are without help or support – you are on your own.

Under a cloud

If someone is suspected of having done something wrong, they are under a cloud.

Under the weather

If you are feeling a bit ill, sad or lack energy, you are under the weather.

Wait for a raindrop in the drought

When someone is waiting for a raindrop in the drought, they are waiting or hoping for something that is extremely unlikely to happen.

Weather a storm

If you weather a storm, you get through a crisis or hard times.


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