30 Useful Health and Medicine Idioms in English

Learning health and medicine idioms is not only important for non-native English speakers but also for native speakers. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive list of health and medicine idioms with their meanings and examples. We will cover a range of idioms related to health, illness, and medical treatment.

List of Health and Medicine Idioms

  • Alive And Kicking
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away
  • As fit as a fiddle
  • As pale as a ghost
  • As pale as death
  • At death’s door
  • Back on one’s feet
  • Be on the Mend
  • Bitter pill to swallow
  • Black-and-blue
  • Break out in a cold sweat
  • Catch one’s death of cold
  • Feel on top of the world
  • Get a charley horse
  • Go Under the Knife
  • Go Viral
  • Green around the gills
  • Have foot-in-mouth disease
  • Have one foot in the grave
  • Just what the doctor ordered
  • Kink in one’s neck
  • Laughter is the best medicine
  • Poison pill (n)
  • Run in the family
  • Sick and Tired of
  • Sick as a Dog
  • Snake Oil
  • Take your medicine
  • Taste of your own medicine
  • Under the weather

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Health and Medicine Idioms with Meaning and Examples

Learn list of health idioms, medical idioms, medicine idioms and doctor idioms with meaning and examples.

Alive And Kicking

  • Meaning: Someone who is still full of energy and is very active. Usually despite health problems or old age.
  • Example: Even though my grandma is 70 years old, she is alive and kicking.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

  • Meaning: Eating healthy and taking care of oneself can prevent illnesses and diseases.
  • Example: I make sure to eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away.

As fit as a fiddle

  • Meaning: To be healthy and physically fit.
  • Example: After going to the gym every day for a month, I feel as fit as a fiddle.

As pale as a ghost

  • Meaning: To look very pale, usually due to being scared or sick.
  • Example: She was as pale as a ghost after hearing the bad news.

As pale as death

  • Meaning: To look extremely pale, usually due to being very sick or close to dying.
  • Example: After being in the hospital for a week, he was as pale as death.

At death’s door

  • Meaning: To be very sick or close to dying.
  • Example: After being diagnosed with cancer, she felt like she was at death’s door.

Back on one’s feet

  • Meaning: To be healthy and active again after being sick or injured.
  • Example: After a few days of rest, I was back on my feet and ready to go back to work.

Be on the Mend

  • Meaning: To be recovering from an illness or injury.
  • Example: After a week of rest, I was on the mend and feeling much better.

Bitter pill to swallow

  • Meaning: Something unpleasant or difficult to accept.
  • Example: Losing the championship game was a bitter pill to swallow, but we learned from our mistakes.


  • Meaning: Bruised, showing signs of having been physically harmed.
  • Example: After the accident, she was black-and-blue all over.

Break out in a cold sweat

  • Meaning: To suddenly feel very scared or nervous.
  • Example: I broke out in a cold sweat when I realized I had left my phone at the restaurant.

Catch one’s death of cold

  • Meaning: To catch a very bad cold that could lead to serious illness.
  • Example: If you don’t wear a coat, you’ll catch your death of cold.

Feel on top of the world

  • Meaning: To feel very happy and confident.
  • Example: After getting a promotion at work, I felt on top of the world.

Get a charley horse

  • Meaning: To get a sudden painful cramp in a muscle.
  • Example: After running a marathon, I got a charley horse in my leg.

Go Under the Knife

  • Meaning: To have surgery.
  • Example: After years of suffering from back pain, she decided to go under the knife.

Green around the gills

  • Meaning: To look or feel sick.
  • Example: After eating the bad sushi, I felt green around the gills.

Have foot-in-mouth disease

  • Meaning: To say something inappropriate or embarrassing.
  • Example: I always seem to have foot-in-mouth disease when I’m nervous.

Have one foot in the grave

  • Meaning: To be very old or sick and close to dying.
  • Example: After being diagnosed with cancer, he felt like he had one foot in the grave.

Just what the doctor ordered

  • Meaning: Something that is exactly what is needed to improve one’s health or situation.
  • Example: After a long day at work, a relaxing bath was just what the doctor ordered.

Kink in one’s neck

  • Meaning: A stiff or sore neck.
  • Example: After sleeping on a bad pillow, I woke up with a kink in my neck.

Laughter is the best medicine

  • Meaning: Laughing and having a good time can improve one’s mood and health.
  • Example: After a stressful day, we watched a comedy and remembered that laughter is the best medicine.

Poison pill (n)

  • Meaning: A plan or strategy that is intended to harm someone or something.
  • Example: The CEO’s decision to sell off all the company’s assets was seen as a poison pill by the employees.

Run in the family

  • Meaning: To have a health condition or trait that is common in one’s family.
  • Example: Diabetes runs in my family, so I have to be careful about what I eat.

Sick and Tired of

  • Meaning: To be fed up or annoyed with something.
  • Example:  I am sick and tired of your constant complaining.

Sick as a Dog

  • Meaning: To be very ill or sick.
  • Example: After eating that bad sushi, I was sick as a dog for two days.

Snake Oil

  • Meaning:  A product or remedy that is fraudulent or ineffective.
  • Example: That new diet pill is just snake oil, it won’t help you lose weight.

Take your medicine

  • Meaning:  To accept the consequences of one’s actions, or to do something unpleasant that is necessary.
  • Example: You made a mistake, now it’s time to take your medicine and face the consequences.

Taste of your own medicine

  • Meaning: To experience the same negative treatment that one has inflicted on others.
  • Example: After years of being a bully, he finally got a taste of his own medicine when he was bullied by his boss.

Under the weather

  • Meaning: To be mildly ill or not feeling well
  • ExampleI’m feeling a bit under the weather today, so I think I’ll stay home and rest.

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