20 Common Idioms about Thinking and Learning in English

Idioms about thinking and learning offer us a window into how different cultures perceive mental processes and educational experiences. As we explore these expressions, we find that they not only add color to our language but also encapsulate complex ideas in a few words. They’re a testament to our creative ability to distill wisdom and common experiences into memorable linguistic nuggets that transcend literal meaning.

List of Idioms about Thinking and Idioms about Learning

  • Go to your head
  • Have your wits about you
  • In the dark (about)
  • Know what’s what
  • Not have a leg to stand on
  • Not see the wood for the trees
  • Put two and two together
  • Quick/ slow on the uptake
  • Ring a bell
  • Round the bend
  • Split hairs
  • Take stock (of)
  • A penny for your thoughts
  • Brainstorm
  • Bright as a button
  • Chew on something
  • Come to grips with
  • Connect the dots
  • Contemplate one’s navel
  • Cross one’s mind

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Thinking and Learning Idioms with Meaning 

Idiom Meaning
Go to your head To make someone become arrogant or overly self-confident.
Have your wits about you To be alert and able to think quickly or respond effectively.
In the dark (about) Uninformed or unaware about something.
Know what’s what To understand the reality of a situation; to know the important facts about something.
Not have a leg to stand on To lack support for one’s position or argument.
Not see the wood for the trees To be unable to understand the overall situation because you’re looking too closely at small details.
Put two and two together To draw a conclusion from the evidence at hand.
Quick/slow on the uptake Quick or slow to understand or learn something.
Ring a bell To sound familiar or remind someone of something.
Round the bend To be mentally unstable or eccentric.
Split hairs To argue or worry about very small details or differences that are not important.
Take stock (of) To carefully consider a situation or event and form an opinion about it, so that you can decide what to do.
A penny for your thoughts An expression used to ask someone to share their thoughts or feelings.
Brainstorm To generate a large number of ideas or solutions to a problem.
Bright as a button Very intelligent or quick-witted.
Chew on something To think carefully about something.
Come to grips with To start to understand and deal with a problem or situation.
Connect the dots To understand the relationship between different ideas or experiences.
Contemplate one’s navel To be excessively focused on one’s own thoughts and feelings.
Cross one’s mind To come into one’s thoughts or be considered as a possibility.

Thinking and Learning Idioms with Examples

Idiom Example Sentences
Go to Your Head Winning the award went to his head, and he started acting arrogantly.
Have Your Wits About You In such a fast-paced environment, you need to have your wits about you at all times.
In the Dark (about) I was completely in the dark about their surprise party plans.
Know What’s What She’s been in the industry for years and knows what’s what.
Not Have a Leg to Stand On His argument doesn’t have a leg to stand on; it’s based on outdated information.
Not See the Wood for the Trees He’s so detail-oriented that sometimes he can’t see the wood for the trees in strategic planning.
Put Two and Two Together When she saw the packed bags, she put two and two together and realized he was leaving.
Quick/Slow on the Uptake He’s quick on the uptake and immediately understood the implications of the new policy.
Ring a Bell Does the name “Harrison” ring a bell? I’m sure I’ve heard it somewhere before.
Round the Bend He thought the constant beeping was going to send him round the bend.
Split Hairs We’re just splitting hairs at this point and getting nowhere with the argument.
Take Stock (of) At the end of the fiscal year, it’s important to take stock of the company’s financial position.
A Penny for Your Thoughts You’ve been quiet all evening—a penny for your thoughts?
Brainstorm Let’s all sit down and brainstorm to come up with a solution to this issue.
Bright as a Button The new intern is as bright as a button and learns things incredibly fast.
Chew on Something I need to chew on the proposal a bit before I can give you any feedback.
Come to Grips With He’s still coming to grips with the new software they’ve installed.
Connect the Dots After hearing all the evidence, the detective was able to connect the dots and solve the case.
Contemplate One’s Navel After the breakup, she spent months contemplating her navel, trying to make sense of what went wrong.
Cross One’s Mind The idea of starting a new business never crossed his mind until he met with the entrepreneur club.

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Last Updated on November 21, 2023

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