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Idioms and phrases asked in SSC CGL Tier 1 2021 | Previous Years Questions

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This article contains all the IDIOMS AND PHRASES asked in SSC CGL Tier 1 exam 2021. This compilation has been prepared by the experts at Pinnacle and detailed solutions have been provided. The idioms have also been used in sentences to bring out the meaning more clearly. Hence, this article is very important if you are targeting SSC CGL CHSL CPO exams.

CGL 2021 Tier 1

Select the most appropriate meaning of the given idiom. 

Q.1 Raise the bar 

CGL 13/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) To grow taller  

(b) To raise the price 

(c) To win a competition 

(d) To set higher goals

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Q.2 Bang for the buck 

CGL 13/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Dash against something 

(b) More value for money 

(c) Less value for money 

(d) A sorrowful heart 

Q.3 To walk on air

CGL 13/8/2021 (Afternoon)  

(a) To feel very depressed 

(b) To be completely free 

(c) To be very happy 

(d) To be very rich 

Q.4 To take a chill pill 

CGL 13/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) To ask a doctor for medication 

(b) To drink cold water 

(c) To gulp a tablet for a cold 

(d) To calm down 

Q.5 Want to curl up and die 

CGL 13/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) Want to die comfortably 

(b) Unable to sleep well 

(c) Feel terribly ashamed and sorry 

(d) Too tired from physical labour 

Q.6 Be at a loss for words 

CGL 13/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) Habituated to using difficult words 

(b) Not aware of the language 

(c) Not know what to say 

(d) Lost the urge to speak

Q.7 Full of beans. 

CGL 16/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) A dish made of French beans. 

(b) Full of cowardice 

(c) A storeroom full of vegetables 

(d) Full of energy 

Q.8 To cut a long story short 

CGL 16/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Like to tell long stories 

(b) Like to tell short stories 

(c) Tell something briefly 

(d) Tell something in a roundabout way 

Q.9 Apple of one's eye 

CGL 16/8/2021 (Afternoon)

(a) Someone who plays all sports 

(b) Someone with great respect 

(c) Someone very precious or dear 

(d) Someone who behaves courteously 

Q.10 To the nines 

CGL 16/8/2021 (Afternoon)

(a) To be exalted

(b) To be jealous 

(c) To great depths 

(d) To perfection

Q.11 At the eleventh hour 

CGL 16/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) At 11:00 a.m. 

(b)  At 11:00 p.m. 

(c) At the very last minute

(d) One hour before midnight 

Q.12 A storm in a teacup 

CGL 16/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) Unnecessary tension 

(b) Disarranging the cutlery 

(c) Lot of fuss that will soon be forgotten 

(d) A sudden storm during teatime

Q.13 Pipe dream 

CGL 17/8/2021 (Morning)

(a)A dream or idea that is loudly proclaimed 

(b)A dream or idea that is nearly accomplished 

(c)A dream or idea that is unlikely to happen 

(d)A dream or idea that keeps getting repeated 

Q.14 Herculean task 

CGL 17/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) A job that only weak people are assigned 

(b) A job that makes everyone feel proud 

(c) A job that requires a lot of talking and information 

(d)A Job that requires a large amount of  physical strength 

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Q.15 Spick and span 

CGL 17/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) Far and near 

(b) Noisy and loud 

(c) Fast and efficient 

(d) Neat and clean 

Q.16 Go easy on something 

CGL 17/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) Fill one's plate easily 

(b) Use only a small amount of 

(c) Take as much as one wants 

(d) Eat slowly and liberally 

Q.17 Pat on the back 

CGL 17/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) Friendly tap to push someone 

(b)Praise or approval for doing something good 

(c) Good massage for aches and pains 

(d) Mild form of disapproval or blame 

Q.18 Wild goose chase 

CGL 17/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) A safari to spot rare animals 

(b) A long search for hidden prey 

(c) A worthless hunt or chase 

(d)  Going to watch uncommon birds

Q.19 A kick in the teeth  

CGL 18/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Severe toothache 

(b) A grave setback 

(c) Removing tooth cavities 

(d) Hitting someone hard 

Q.20 A stumbling block 

CGL 18/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Putting stones along the way 

(b) An obstacle to progress 

(c) Skipping over a hurdle 

(d) Removing stones on the way 

Q.21.  Lion's share 

CGL 18/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) The strongest and richest partner in a group

(b) The part that must be left for the guests in a party

(c) The greatest and most desirable portion of something 

(d) The sound produced by a lion when it is attacking a prey 

Q.22. A live wire 

CGL 18/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) An influential and powerful person 

(b) A very active or energetic person 

(c) A dangerous and evil person 

(d) An angry and bad-tempered person 

Q.23 Sit on the fence

CGL 18/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) Create Conflicts

(b) Protect Something

(c) Avoid making a decision

(d) Poke fun at people

Q.24 Fair and square

CGL 18/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) By and means available

(b) According to the rules

(c) Beautiful in appearance

(d) Calm and quiet

Q.25 A bad egg 

CGL 20/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Someone who is dishonest and unreliable 

(b) Someone who regularly makes mistakes 

(c) Someone who doesn't like eggs 

(d) Someone who likes to break eggs

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Q.26 Tide someone over 

CGL 20/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Complete a voyage successfully 

(b)Give temporary help, usually financial 

(c) Ask someone for financial assistance 

(d). Get a boat ready to cross a river or water body 

Q.27 To pay lip service 

CGL 20/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) To ask for permission 

(b) To be insincere 

(c) To make loud statements 

(d) To talk out of turn 

Q.28 To get the ball rolling 

CGL 20/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) To match an opponent 

(b) To keep working until late 

(c) To play a ball game well 

(d) To begin a process 

Q29  Through thick and thin 

CGL 20/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) With ego and pride 

(b) Under all conditions 

(c) With all kinds of people 

(d) With humility 

Q.30 On the horizon 

CGL 20/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) The successful beginning of a business venture 

(b) A plan for the distant future 

(c) An event that is likely to end soon 

(d) An event that is likely to happen soon

Q31 On cloud nine 

CGL 23/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Extremely happy 

(b) Flying with a parachute 

(c) Frequently flying by air 

(d) Extremely sad 

Q.32 Draw the line at something 

CGL 23/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Agreeing to an idea 

(b) Accept something up to a particular point 

(c) Coming to a conclusion 

(d) Making pencil sketches

Q33 A fish out of water 

CGL 23/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) Feel as if you are unable to breathe 

(b) Feel like going to an unfamiliar and new place 

(c) Feel comfortable in any kind of place 

(d) Feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings 

Q34 To be light years away 

CGL 23/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) An extremely long time from now in the past or future 

(b) To be too distant for human beings to reach 

(c) An unlikely event that happened suddenly 

(d) When something seems like it is about to happen in the near future 

Q35 A square deal 

CGL 23/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) A fair agreement 

(b) An unfair agreement 

(c) A nice decoration 

(d) A dishonest transaction 

Q36 On edge 

CGL 23/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) Keeping things safely 

(b) Doing exercises regularly 

(c) Nervous and unable to relax 

(d) Playing a tiring game 

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Q37 The gift of the gab 

CGL 24/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Loves to give gifts 

(b) Writes very well 

(c) Used to grabbing others’ gifts 

(d) Talks well and persuasively 

Q38 Feel at sea 

CGL 24/8/2021 (Morning)

(a) Feel comfortable while travelling by water 

(b) Feel angry 

(c) Feel seasick 

(d) Feel lost or confused 

Q39 Twiddling one’s thumbs 

CGL 24/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) Feeling hungry 

(b) Feeling bored 

(c) Feeling angry 

(d) Feeling sad 

Q40 Out of the blue 

CGL 24/8/2021 (Afternoon) 

(a) Beat someone black and blue 

(b) Loves to wear only blue colour clothes 

(c) Completely honestly 

(d) Completely unexpectedly 

Q.41 To fan the flames 

CGL 24/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) To resolve the issue amicably 

(b) To call for help to solve an issue 

(c) To cool the situation 

(d) To make a bad situation worse 

Q.42 To fight tooth and nail 

CGL 24/8/2021 (Evening)

(a) To fight or compete with great ferocity and intensity 

(b) To silently leave the scene of battle 

(c) To keep the enemy guessing about the weapons used 

(d) To use unusual weapons to fight



Raise the bar- to set higher goals 

Example- The increasing number of appearing candidates has raised the bar for the competition.


Bang for the buck- more value for money 

Example- I didn’t get the bang for the buck that I expected on the sale of my car.

Sol:3.(c) To walk on air- to be very happy 

Example- Rohit was walking on air because he got selected in the Income Tax Department.

Sol:4.(d) To take a chill pill- to calm down  

Example- Ram was behaving very furiously on a trivial matter so I told him to take a chill pill.

Sol:5.(c) Want to curl up and die- feel terribly ashamed and sorry   

Example- I just wanted to curl up and die when I accidentally broke his new mobile phone.

Sol:6.(c) Be at a loss for words- not know what to say 

Example- Raj is at a loss for words so I cannot understand his explanation for the fault

Sol:7.(d) Full of beans- full of energy 

Example- Whenever I meet Rajan in the gym he always remains full of beans. 

Sol:8.(c) To cut a long story short- Tell something briefly  

Example- Ram wanted to be a doctor but, to cut a long story short, he ended up as a pharmacist.

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Sol:9.(c) Apple of one's eye- Someone very precious or dear 

Example-  Aryan Khan is the apple of his father's eye.

Sol:10.(d) To the nines- to perfection

Example- Tarun is dressed to the nine for the party.

Sol:11.(c) At the eleventh hour- At the very last minute

Example- I told Ravi to change his habit of finishing every project at the eleventh hour.  

Sol:12.(c) A storm in a teacup- a lot of fuss that will soon be forgotten 

Example- I really think you are making a storm in a teacup over this small issue.

Sol:13.(c) Pipe dream- a dream or idea that is unlikely to happen

Example- It is a pipe dream if you think a donkey can beat a cheetah in a race. 

Sol:14.(d)Herculean task- a job that requires a large amount of physical strength 

Example- Cracking the SSB test after the CDS exam is really a herculean task.

Sol:15.(d) Spick and span- neat and clean 

Example- Ram’s house is so spick and span that you will hardly find anything untidy.

Sol:16.(b) Go easy on something- use only a small amount of  

Example- Mohit will respond in a better way if his father goes easy on him.

Sol:17.(b) Pat on the back- praise or approval for doing something good 

Example- I got a pat on the back from my father for scoring good marks in exams.

Sol:18.(c) Wild goose chase- a worthless hunt or chase 

Example-  Abhishek  looking for his lost phone may be on a wild goose chase

Sol:19.(b) A kick in the teeth- a grave setback 

Example- Losing my job after my car broke down was a real kick in the teeth. 

Sol:20.(b) A stumbling block- an obstacle to progress 

Example- Unemployment is a stumbling block in the developing country.

Sol:21.(c) Lion's share- the greatest and most desirable portion of something 

Example-Military and nuclear research have received the lion's share of public funding.

Sol:22.(b) A live wire- a very active or energetic person  

Example- Nakul being a live wire does not get tired easily during physical activities.

Sol:23.(c) Sit on the fence- avoid making a decision

Example- You can't sit on the fence any longer - you have decide whose side you're on

Sol:24.(b) Fair and square- according to the rules

Example- The X party won the recently held election in a fair and square way.

Sol:25.(a) A bad egg- someone who is dishonest and unreliable 

Example- I had already warned you not to trust Shivam on financial matters.

Sol:26.(b) Tide someone over- give temporary help, usually financial. 

Example- Can you lend me some money to tide me over till next month?

Sol:27.(b) To pay lip service- to be insincere 

Example- Tarun did not offer any help so far and only paid lip service to the cause.

Sol:28.(d) To get the ball rolling- to begin a process 

Example- Ram is shy, so he always waits for other people to get the ball rolling.

Sol:29.(b) Through thick and thin- under all conditions

Example- You should have to work hard through all thick and thin to qualify this exam.

Sol:30.(d) On the horizon- an event that is likely to happen soon 

Example- We have some new and fresh plans on the horizon.

Sol:31.(a) On cloud nine- extremely happy 

Example- Rohit  is on cloud nine as he got selected in the Excise Department. 

Sol:32.(b) Draw the line at something- accept something up to a particular point 

Example- Mukesh is going to draw the line about working more than 180 hours a month.

Sol:33.(d) A fish out of water- feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings 

Example- When Raj shifted to the USA from a small village in India, he was like a fish out of water.

Sol:34.(b) To be light years away- to be too distant for human beings to reach 

Example- The nearest star to our sun, Proxima Centauri, is 4.2 light years away.

Sol:35.(a) A square deal- a fair agreement 

Example-  The team leader tries to get a square deal for all its employees.

Sol:36.(c) On edge- Nervous and unable to relax 

Example- I was on edge last week waiting to see my SSC exam result. 

Sol:37.(d) The gift of the gab- talks well and persuasively 

Example- One must have the gift of the gab if one wants to become a good communicator.

Sol:38.(d) Feel at sea- feel lost or confused 

Example- The manager should not feel at sea if he wants to complete his presentation. 

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Sol:39.(b) Twiddling one’s thumbs- feeling bored

Example- Rohit arrived early for the meeting so he was twiddling his thumbs for an hour. 

Sol:40.(d) Out of the blue- completely unexpectedly

Example- One day, out of the blue, Rohan called me up.


To fan the flames- to make a bad situation worse 

Example- The politician’s comments are really going to fan the flames of hatred among the public. 


To fight tooth and nail- to fight or compete with great ferocity and intensity 

Example- I am going to fight tooth and nail for that seat in the Excise department. 

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