This is a collection of English vocabulary practice questions for CLAT based on the pattern of questions that are asked in law entrance examinations.

In the following questions, pick out the correct meanings of the following idioms:

To wash dirty linen in public

  1. To quarrel openly
  2. To clean solid lines
  3. To understand the hidden meaning of the word
  4. To wash dirty clothes

Ans. (1)

Explanation: herein you can easily strike away option ‘2’ and ‘4’ as idioms are not used to give a literal meaning. Now the choice lies between option ‘1’ and‘4’ , if you connect the words ‘dirty’ and ‘public’ it gives the idea that something bad is being done in front of others. Thus you can easily infer option ‘1’ will be the answer.

To flog a dead horse

  1. To revive interest in a subject which is out of date
  2. To beat a horse that is dead
  3. To do interesting things
  4. To try to take work from a weak horse

Ans. (1)

Explanation: the word ‘flog’ means to hit something with a stick and from the words ‘dead horse’ it can be inferred that it is talking about something which is not being practised currently. Thus from the alternatives option ‘1’ relates best to the inference drawn.

To meet one’s waterloo

  1. To meet a strong adversary
  2. To meet with humiliation
  3. To die fighting
  4. To meet one’s final defeat

Ans. (4)

Explanation: in the battle of waterloo the army under the command of Napoleon was defeated, since then this phrase is used as a mark of someone’s final defeat.

Hobson’s choice

  1. Excellent choice
  2. No choice at all because there is only one thing to take or not
  3. The choice to live or die
  4. Big man’s choice

Ans. (2)

Explanation: this phrase has originated from Thomas Hobson who used to offer his customer the choice of either taking the horse in his stall nearest to the door or taking none at all. Thus since then, this phrase is used when you the option either to take or leave a thing.

To fish in troubled waters

  1. To indulge in evil conspiracies
  2. To aggravate the situation
  3. To make the most of a bad bargain
  4. To be perplexed

Ans. (3)

Explanation: now if you connect the words ‘to fish’ and ‘troubled waters’ it can mean to do something in the adverse situation. Thus option ‘3’ suits best to this inference.

A snake in the grass

  1. A hidden enemy
  2. Unforeseen happening
  3. Very ferocious enemy
  4. Unrecognizable danger

Ans. (4)

Explanation: the visual meaning of this idiom could be that as the grass is dense, it is difficult to see a snake it. Snake is not an enemy to humans but it is a danger to human life, hence it indicates a danger which cannot be easily seen. Thus option ‘4’ suits best to this inference.

To have a chip on one’s shoulder

  1. To be boastful
  2. To be deserving of a piece
  3. To have treated unfairly
  4. To have deep cut wound on the shoulder

Ans. (3)

Explanation: the word ‘chip’ means a place from which something has broken off. Thus it gives an indication of something negative and amongst the alternatives option ‘3’ suits the best.

To be a good Samaritan

  1. A religious person
  2. A genuinely charitable person
  3. To be obedient
  4. A citizen of Samaritan

Ans. (2)

Explanation: ‘Samaritan’ means a helpful and charitable person

The Alpha and Omega

  1. A Shakespearean play
  2. Beginning and End
  3. A Greek song
  4. A Swiss watch

Ans. (2)

Explanation: ‘alpha’ is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and ‘omega’ is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, thus depicting beginning and end.

Gift of the gab

  1. Talent for speaking
  2. To win a prize
  3. To get something free
  4. To distribute gifts

Ans. (1)

Explanation: ‘gab’ means to chatter. Thus option ‘1’ will be the answer.

Click here to read our post on idioms and phrases.
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