Fixed expression

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A fixed expression is a standard form of expression that has taken on a more specific meaning than the expression itself. It is different from a proverb in that it is used as a part of a sentence, and is the standard way of expressing a concept or idea.

Examples include:

  • all of a sudden
  • come into mind
  • fall in line
  • I can assure you
  • so to speak
  • surf the web
  • Siamese twins or irreversible binomials like mix and match, wear and tear, and rock and roll
  • trinomials (3-word fixed expressions); e.g. lights, camera, action, signed, sealed, and delivered, and lock, stock, and barrel.

See also