Wind Idioms

Idioms | Vocabulary | English in Use


I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I created these Activities to encourage you to not only learn and remember many English idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activities you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.


Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

English in Use

The Activities categorised as English in Use look at the way we use English in everyday life. The Activities cover the actual use of English and examine grammar, punctuation, and functionality of the language. For any student studying English as a second language or English as a foreign language, English in Use Activities are particularly useful for improving speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. These Activities will help you to develop your confidence in using different types of text such as fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as learning to speak and write about things such as the weather and travel, as well as preparing you for typical situations such as ordering in a restaurant or buying a train ticket.

Newest All Categories Top Random Courses IPA Challenges Word Games

There are quite a few wind idioms in British English. I have created an Activation Quiz to teach you 15 of them and give you some practice using them. These 15 idioms include put the wind up, take the wind out of someone’s sails, and an ill wind, to name just a few. You can learn these idioms by doing the multimedia-rich, interactive activator in this lesson.      

If an event is a straw in the wind, it is a sign of the way in which a situation may develop. People sometimes drop pieces of straw in order to see which way they move as they fall, so that they can tell which way the wind is blowing.

To get your second wind is to experience renewed energy after a period of fatigue or tirednes.

If someone is spitting in the wind, they are wasting their time by trying to do something which has little or no chance of success.

To get wind of something is to become aware of something, especially something being kept secret, through indirect means.

To get the wind up is to become frightened about something.

Even the most negative or harmful situations are usually of benefit to someone, and a situation that really benefits no one must be particularly bad. Thus, it's an ill wind that blows no good.

To knock the wind out of someone sails is to humiliate them.

The winds of change are an event or series of events that will cause important changes.

To throw caution to the wind is a cliché which means to become very careless, or to do something without worrying about the risks and dangers involved.

A bag of wind is someone who speaks a lot, yet says little of value, and often makes out that they are something of an authority on what they're talking about.

A candle in the wind is something that is particularly vulnerable, weak, fragile, and likely to be eliminated at any moment.

To go like the wind is to move very quickly.

To whistle in the wind is to engage in a fruitless or hopeless task, or to try to produce an effect with no real hope of succeeding.

How the wind lies is what appears likely to happen, or how a certain situation may develop.

To break wind is to release intestinal gas into the atmosphere. This is commonly known as farting.

If you are on a mobile device, or want to open the lesson in a new window, click the button below. The lesson will open in a popup window.

Popup Lesson

Use your study record to set lessons as completed, rate them with a 1-5 star rating, record vocabulary from the lesson for future reference, and take notes about the lesson for future reference.

Not Complete!

You have not completed this lesson yet. To complete it, click the Complete Lesson button.

Complete Lesson Completed Lessons

Lesson Rating

You have not rated this lesson.

Rate This All Ratings

Lesson Vocabulary

You have not created any vocabulary items for this lesson yet.

Add New Vocabulary All Vocabulary

Lesson Notes

You have not created any notes for this lesson yet.

Create Notes All Notes

Learn English with the most innovative and engaging English lessons available anywhere on the Internet and all completely free of charge! To personalise your experience in the Britlish Library and to keep track of the lessons you have studied and the vocabulary you have recorded, or the notes you have made about each class, sign up for a free account today.