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On the safe side

Avoiding danger, with a margin for error, as in Just to be on the safe side, let’s order another hundred chairs. This idiom was first recorded in 1811.


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  • On the same wave length

    [weyv-lengkth, -length, -lenth] /ˈweɪvˌlɛŋkθ, -ˌlɛŋθ, -ˌlɛnθ/ noun 1. Physics. the distance, measured in the direction of propagation of a , between two successive points in the that are characterized by the same phase of oscillation. Idioms 2. on the same wavelength, in sympathy or rapport: We seemed to be on the same wavelength from the […]

  • On the sauce

    adjective phrase Drinking liquor, esp heavily: on the sauce in a charming school-boy way [1970s+; sauce, ”liquor,” is found by 1940]

  • On-the-scene

    [on-th uh-seen, awn-] /ˈɒn ðəˌsin, ˈɔn-/ adjective 1. being at the very place of occurrence: an on-the-scene newscast.

  • On the sidelines

    Observing rather than taking part, out of the action, as in Bolivia’s neighbors remained on the sidelines, waiting to see which faction in the dispute would prevail. This idiom comes from sports. The sidelines are the two lines defining the sides of the court or playing field and the area immediately beyond them where, in […]

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