Learn common Weather idioms in English with meaning and examples.
Useful list of 45+ Weather Idioms in English.
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
- 1 Weather Idioms
- 1.1 (A Breath of) Fresh Air
- 1.2 (Every Cloud Has a) Silver Lining
- 1.3 A Cold Day In July
- 1.4 A snowball’s chance in hell
- 1.5 A storm in a teacup
- 1.6 All Wet
- 1.7 Be snowed under
- 1.8 Be/feel under the weather
- 1.9 Blood and Thunder
- 1.10 Blow Hot and Cold
- 1.11 Bolt from the Blue
- 1.12 Brainstorm
- 1.13 Break the ice
- 1.14 Catch some rays
- 1.15 Chase Rainbows
- 1.16 Cold Day in Hell
- 1.17 Come Hell or High Water
- 1.18 Come rain or shine
- 1.19 Cook Up a Storm
- 1.20 Dead of winter
- 1.21 Dog days of the summer
- 1.22 Have (one’s) head in the clouds
- 1.23 Heavens open
- 1.24 In the dark
- 1.25 It never rains but it pours
- 1.26 Old Man Winter
- 1.27 On Cloud Nine
- 1.28 On Thin Ice
- 1.29 In a Fog
- 1.30 Get Wind of
- 1.31 (Be) a Breeze
- 1.32 Bone Dry
- 1.33 Once in a blue moon
- 1.34 Perfect Storm
- 1.35 Pure as the driven snow
- 1.36 Rain Cats And Dogs
- 1.37 Rain on Someone’s Parade
- 1.38 Right as Rain
- 1.39 Soak up the sun
- 1.40 Spit into The Wind
- 1.41 Steal Someone’s Thunder
- 1.42 Stormy relationship
- 1.43 Take a Rain Check
- 1.44 Three Sheets to the Wind
- 1.45 Throw Caution to the Wind
- 1.46 To be on thin ice
- 1.47 To break the ice
- 1.48 To run hot and cold
- 1.49 Under the Weather
- 1.50 When Hell Freezes Over
- 2 Weather Idioms | Video
(A Breath of) Fresh Air
- Meaning: Something new and innovative, especially in contrast to a stagnant state of affairs
- Example: I know Andrew can seem abrasive, but he wants to shake things up. To me his ideas are a breath of fresh air.
(Every Cloud Has a) Silver Lining
- Meaning: A positive aspect of a bad situation
- Example: The silver lining to the layoffs is that we all have more office space now.
A Cold Day In July
- Meaning: (Something that) will never happen
- Example: It’ll be a cold day in July when our team wins the championship. We’re terrible.
Note: Generally used with “it’ll be.”
A snowball’s chance in hell
- Meaning: To be very unlikely to succeed at something
- Example: That small boat has a snowball’s chance in hell of surviving the hurricane.
A storm in a teacup
- Meaning: Unnecessary anger or worry about an unimportant or trivial matter
- Example: Their arguments were like a storm in a teacup.
- Meaning: Completely mistaken
- Example: If you think I’m going to climb that rickety ladder, you’re all wet!
Note: All Wet
Be snowed under
- Meaning: Be extremely busy with work or things to do
- Example: I’m snowed under with work. I’ve got so much to do.
Be/feel under the weather
- Meaning: Be/feel unwell or ill
- Example: I can’t finish my work today. I feel under the weather.
Useful Weather Idioms in English | Image 1
…Weather Idioms in English…
Blood and Thunder
- Meaning: A dramatic, spectacular performance
- Example: The heavy metal concert ended with a piece that was truly blood and thunder.
Blow Hot and Cold
- Meaning: Shift one’s level of enthusiasm repeatedly
- Example: I can’t figure out Stephanie’s attitude toward the trip-she’s blowing hot and cold about it. First she’s all excited, but then she seems reluctant to go.
Bolt from the Blue
- Meaning: Something completely unexpected
- Example: When Nick broke up with me, it was a bolt from the blue. I was stunned.
- Meaning: To generate many ideas quickly
- Example: Before writing, our teacher asked us to brainstorm the topics for essays.
Break the ice
- Meaning: To get something started, particularly by means of a social introduction or conversation
- Example: It can be difficult to break the ice at formal events.
Catch some rays
- Meaning: To sit or lie outside in the sun
- Example: Yesterday, I lay on the beach and catch some rays.
- Meaning: To pursue unrealistic goals
- Example: It might seem like chasing rainbows, but I’m convinced my research will have important applications someday.
Cold Day in Hell
- Meaning: A condition for something that would be extremely unlikely to occur
- Example: It’ll be a cold day in hell before I’ll go out with him!
Note: You can also say “When hell freezes over.”
Come Hell or High Water
- Meaning: No matter what happens
- Example: Come hell or high water, we will be in New York for the meeting tomorrow morning.
Come rain or shine
- Meaning: Do regularly, whatever the circumstances
- Example: I listen to the music every day, come rain or shine.
Cook Up a Storm
- Meaning: Cook a great deal of food
- Example: Why don’t you come over to our house for Thanksgiving? My mom will be cooking up a storm, and there’ll be more food than we can possibly eat.
Dead of winter
- Meaning: The coldest, darkest part of winter
- Example: I find myself dreaming of tropical islands every year in the dead of winter.
Dog days of the summer
- Meaning: The hottest day of summer
- Example: It has been at least 50 degrees every day this week!. The dog days of summer are here!
Have (one’s) head in the clouds
- Meaning: Not know what is happening around you or out of touch with reality
- Example: My son always has his head in the clouds as he walks home from school.
- Meaning: Start to rain heavily
- Example: Let’s come back soon before the heavens open!
In the dark
- Meaning: Not informed
- Example: I was kept in the dark about the intervention until a few minutes before it was a reality.
It never rains but it pours
- Meaning: Bad luck and bad things tend to happen at the same time
- Example: I lost my wallet and now I’ve lost my phone. It never rains but it pours!
Old Man Winter
- Meaning: Winter
- Example: Old Man Winter is hanging around this year-it’s the middle of March, and we still have a lot of snow.
On Cloud Nine
- Meaning: Extremely happy
- Example: Cindy was on cloud nine after her boyfriend proposed to her.
Note: This formerly had the connotation of drug usage (as in the song of this title by the Temptations), but it’s now more generally used.
On Thin Ice
- Meaning: In a risky situation, especially in an interpersonal relationship
- Example: I have to go to work. I’ve been late twice this week already, and I’m on thin ice with the boss.
In a Fog
- Meaning: Confused, not mentally alert
- Example: I made a huge mistake. I stayed up all night studying, and I was in a fog when it came time to start the exam.
Get Wind of
- Meaning: Hear about
- Example: A large stone sculpture was stolen from our backyard last night. If you get wind of anyone trying to sell one, please let me know.
(Be) a Breeze
- Meaning: Very easy
- Example: I stayed up all night studying for that exam, and then it turned out to be a breeze!
- Meaning: Completely dry, totally without moisture
- Example: Several of the smaller rivers and reservoirs in Cape Town are bone dry, and without conservation measures the city could run out of water.
Useful Weather idioms in English | Image 2
…Weather Idioms in English…
Once in a blue moon
- Meaning: Very rarely
- Example: He has very little contact to his family. He came home once in a blue moon.
- Meaning: A rare combination of disastrous occurrences
- Example: I’m sorry we damaged your car. It was a perfect storm-bad weather, poorly maintained brakes, and an inexperienced driver.
Pure as the driven snow
- Meaning: To be innocent and chaste (frequently used ironically)
- Example: I never thought Madonna was pure as the driven snow, but the book she wrote is crazy!
Note: This idiom was popularized by the George Clooney film of the same name.
Rain Cats And Dogs
- Meaning: Rain heavily
- Example: It’s been raining cats and dogs all day. I’m afraid the roof is going to leak.
Rain on Someone’s Parade
- Meaning: Spoil someone’s plans
- Example: I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but the park is closed tomorrow, so we can’t have our picnic there.
Right as Rain
- Meaning: Absolutely correct
- Example: Once again, John is right as rain. We should sell the Chicago office building.
Soak up the sun
- Meaning: To enjoy the sun
- Example: Let’s go out and soak up some sun.
Spit into The Wind
- Meaning: Wasting time on something futile
- Example: We’re just spitting into the wind when we try to enter that market. Local companies dominate it, and always have.
Steal Someone’s Thunder
- Meaning: Upstage someone
- Example: Kim stole Ted’s thunder at the meeting today. He had been working on his presentation for weeks, but she dropped the big news about the new president.
- Meaning: Relationship that has a lot arguments and disagreement
- Example: We broke up because we found our relationship to be stormy one.
Take a Rain Check
- Meaning: Decline an invitation but suggest that you’ll accept it at a later time.
- Example: I have to attend a work retreat tonight, so I can’t go out with you. But can I take a rain check?
Three Sheets to the Wind
- Meaning: Very drunk
- Example: I just saw Frances at the bar. She’s three sheets to the wind – I think I should go back and make sure she gets home safely.
Throw Caution to the Wind
- Meaning: To act in a daring way, without forethought
- Example: Throwing caution to the wind, he bet all the money he brought on his trip at the roulette table.
To be on thin ice
- Meaning: To be in a risky situation
- Example: If you keep asking him about his ex-girlfriend, you’ll be on thin ice.
To break the ice
- Meaning: To create a more friendly and relaxed atmosphere
- Example: Charmaine was great at breaking the ice, she always knows what to say to people.
To run hot and cold
- Meaning: To be unable to make up one’s mind
- Example: Alexi’s feelings about her run hot and cold, one minute he loves her, and the next, he’s bored of her.
Under the Weather
- Meaning: Feeling ill
- Example: Louise said she was going home early – she’s under the weather.
When Hell Freezes Over
- Meaning: Never
- Example: Tom stole cameras when he worked here. I’ll hire him back when hell freezes over.