The word ‘come’ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to move towards, reach a certain point and to happen.
- Come here, I want to show you something. (move towards)
- The grass comes up to my hips. (reach a certain point)
- Opportunities like this don’t come that often. (produce a state)
Come is an irregular verb. The past tense is came and the past participle is come.
idiom list with ‘come’
- come apart at the seams – fall to pieces, stop functioning properly
e.g. Our marriage is coming apart at the seams, I think we’re heading for divorce.
- come from behind – win/succeed after being in a losing position
e.g. The youngster is coming from behind. Can he take the champion’s crown?
- come into bloom – start to produce flowers
e.g. You need to wait a few more months. These flowers don’t come into bloom until July.
- come into fashion – become fashionable
e.g. I’m going to keep all my old clothes. One day they’ll come back into fashion.
- come of age – become an adult, reach 18 years old
e.g. I can’t believe my baby will be coming of age next week. Where did the time go?
- come out swinging – go immediately of the offensive
e.g. The young boxer came out swinging and knocked out his opponent in 30 seconds.
- come out/up smelling of roses – still have a good reputation despite being involved in something negative
e.g. It was Connor’s idea to rob the safe, but he still comes out smelling of roses.
- come rain or shine – no matter what the weather is, something will still happen
e.g. The match will be on tomorrow come rain or shine.
- come to a head – a situation reaches a climax
e.g. Tensions came to a head in the town and violence erupted.
- come to blows – start arguing/fighting after a disagreement
e.g. It all came to blows when Christine found out who keyed her car.
- come up short – insufficient, lacking what you need, unsuccessful
e.g. I keep coming up short on auditions, maybe I should quit singing.
- come/crawl out of the woodwork – appear suddenly after being hidden for a long time
e.g. 10,000 fans came out of the woodwork when we reached the final.
- don’t/doesn’t come cheap – good quality but expensive
e.g. I send my kids to private school. It doesn’t come cheap, but the school is excellent.
- till the cows come home – for a very long time
e.g. Don’t ever start an argument with Will. He can argue till the cows come home.
- wheel come/fall off – something suddenly/unexpectedly fails
e.g. We were 3-0 up, then the wheel came off.
Let’s see these idioms with pictures and meaning using real-life scenarios.
Hey, did you know the verb ‘come’ has many phrasal verbs. Since you like idioms and phrases, you obviously want to improve your fluency and speak like a native.
Am I right?
I thought you might like to learn the phrasal verbs with ‘come’ too. They are very common in informal English and great to know/be able to understand if you happen to be speaking to a native. We use them all the time, like literally ALL the time.