27 Idioms for Hard Work + Quiz


Hard work is the key to success, and language often reflects this truth. In this article, we’ll explore idioms that vividly capture the essence of dedication and perseverance.

These idioms reflect the grit, determination, and effort required to achieve one’s goals.

idioms for hard work

What is an Idiom for Hard Work?

Idioms are phrases that convey a meaning different from their literal interpretation.

They’re like hidden codes within language that require a bit of decoding. Idioms for hard work express the idea of putting in effort, toiling diligently, and going the extra mile to achieve success.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

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Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

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What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

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Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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Now, let’s delve into the meanings of some common idioms for hard work and provide examples for each one.

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Burning the Midnight OilWorking late into the night.To finish his project on time, John had to burn the midnight oil.
Nose to the GrindstoneWorking diligently and consistently.With her nose to the grindstone, Emily steadily improved her skills.
Putting in the HoursInvesting time and effort.Success in any field requires putting in the hours and honing your craft.
Sweat EquityOwnership or value earned through hard work and effort.After years of dedication, she built her business with sweat equity.
Blood, Sweat, and TearsIntense effort, sacrifice, and hard work.Achieving his dream required blood, sweat, and tears, but it was worth it.
Grinding It OutPersistently working on a task or project.Despite challenges, the team kept grinding it out until they succeeded.
Hitting the GrindEngaging in hard work or persevering through difficulties.After setbacks, Jane kept hitting the grind, determined to achieve her goals.
Going the Extra MilePutting in more effort than required.His willingness to go the extra mile made him stand out in the workplace.
Digging DeepTapping into one’s inner reserves to overcome challenges.During the marathon, runners had to dig deep to find the strength to finish.
Pulling an All-NighterStaying awake and working throughout the night.To meet the deadline, she had to pull an all-nighter to complete the report.
Working One’s Fingers to the BoneWorking extremely hard and tirelessly.Despite the physical labor, he was working his fingers to the bone to provide for his family.
Keeping One’s Nose to the WheelStaying focused and committed to a task.To excel in academics, Sarah kept her nose to the wheel, studying diligently.
Slogging AwayWorking hard with persistent effort.The team kept slogging away on the project, determined to achieve success.
Turning the WheelsMaking progress through effort and determination.By turning the wheels consistently, he saw improvements in his fitness.
Giving It One’s AllPutting forth maximum effort and commitment.In the final match, the athlete gave it her all and won the championship.
Putting One’s Shoulder to the WheelApplying effort and strength to a task.To lift the heavy load, they put their shoulders to the wheel and pushed together.
Leaving No Stone UnturnedExamining every option and putting in exhaustive effort.To solve the mystery, the detective left no stone unturned in the investigation.
Working Like a DogWorking tirelessly and diligently.Despite the challenging project, she worked like a dog to meet the deadline.
Leaving It All on the FieldGiving your maximum effort and energy in a task.In the championship game, the team left it all on the field, playing their best.
Burning the Candle at Both EndsOverworking and exhausting oneself.Trying to balance two jobs, he was burning the candle at both ends, leading to exhaustion.
Working Up a StormWorking energetically and passionately.With their enthusiasm, the volunteers were working up a storm to help the community.
Working Like a TrojanWorking extremely hard and tirelessly.To meet the project deadline, the team worked like Trojans, putting in extra hours.
Running Oneself RaggedExhausting oneself through constant activity.Balancing work and family, she often ran herself ragged but never gave up.
Working Day and NightWorking continuously, without rest.To finish the urgent task, they were working day and night, without breaks.
Working TirelesslyWorking without stopping, with great effort.The scientist worked tirelessly on the research project for years.
Grindstone MentalityA mindset of consistent and hard work.Her grindstone mentality helped her achieve her career goals.
Busting One’s HumpWorking extremely hard, often under pressure.Despite the tough conditions, they were busting their humps to meet the project deadline.

Metaphors can convey the essence of hard work, like comparing it to a journey up a steep mountain where each step requires determination and effort. To explore more metaphors for hard work, you can visit this link: Metaphors for Hard Work. Similarly, similes provide comparisons that make hard work more relatable, such as saying it’s as relentless as a never-ending treadmill. Discover additional similes for hard work here: Similes for Hard Work.

Idioms for Hard Work

1. Burning the Midnight Oil

Meaning: Working late into the night.

In a Sentence: To finish his project on time, John had to burn the midnight oil.

2. Nose to the Grindstone

Meaning: Working diligently and consistently.

In a Sentence: With her nose to the grindstone, Emily steadily improved her skills.

3. Putting in the Hours

Meaning: Investing time and effort.

In a Sentence: Success in any field requires putting in the hours and honing your craft.

4. Sweat Equity

Meaning: Ownership or value earned through hard work and effort.

In a Sentence: After years of dedication, she built her business with sweat equity.

5. Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Meaning: Intense effort, sacrifice, and hard work.

In a Sentence: Achieving his dream required blood, sweat, and tears, but it was worth it.

6. Grinding It Out

Meaning: Persistently working on a task or project.

In a Sentence: Despite challenges, the team kept grinding it out until they succeeded.

7. Hitting the Grind

Meaning: Engaging in hard work or persevering through difficulties.

In a Sentence: After setbacks, Jane kept hitting the grind, determined to achieve her goals.

8. Going the Extra Mile

Meaning: Putting in more effort than required.

In a Sentence: His willingness to go the extra mile made him stand out in the workplace.

9. Digging Deep

Meaning: Tapping into one’s inner reserves to overcome challenges.

In a Sentence: During the marathon, runners had to dig deep to find the strength to finish.

10. Pulling an All-Nighter

Meaning: Staying awake and working throughout the night.

In a Sentence: To meet the deadline, she had to pull an all-nighter to complete the report.

11. Working One’s Fingers to the Bone

Meaning: Working extremely hard and tirelessly.

In a Sentence: Despite the physical labor, he was working his fingers to the bone to provide for his family.

12. Keeping One’s Nose to the Wheel

Meaning: Staying focused and committed to a task.

In a Sentence: To excel in academics, Sarah kept her nose to the wheel, studying diligently.

13. Slogging Away

Meaning: Working hard with persistent effort.

In a Sentence: The team kept slogging away on the project, determined to achieve success.

14. Turning the Wheels

Meaning: Making progress through effort and determination.

In a Sentence: By turning the wheels consistently, he saw improvements in his fitness.

15. Giving It One’s All

Meaning: Putting forth maximum effort and commitment.

In a Sentence: In the final match, the athlete gave it her all and won the championship.

16. Putting One’s Shoulder to the Wheel

Meaning: Applying effort and strength to a task.

In a Sentence: To lift the heavy load, they put their shoulders to the wheel and pushed together.

17. Leaving No Stone Unturned

Meaning: Examining every option and putting in exhaustive effort.

In a Sentence: To solve the mystery, the detective left no stone unturned in the investigation.

18. Working Like a Dog

Meaning: Working tirelessly and diligently.

In a Sentence: Despite the challenging project, she worked like a dog to meet the deadline.

19. Leaving It All on the Field

Meaning: Giving your maximum effort and energy in a task.

In a Sentence: In the championship game, the team left it all on the field, playing their best.

20. Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Meaning: Overworking and exhausting oneself.

In a Sentence: Trying to balance two jobs, he was burning the candle at both ends, leading to exhaustion.

21. Working Up a Storm

Meaning: Working energetically and passionately.

In a Sentence: With their enthusiasm, the volunteers were working up a storm to help the community.

22. Working Like a Trojan

Meaning: Working extremely hard and tirelessly.

In a Sentence: To meet the project deadline, the team worked like Trojans, putting in extra hours.

23. Running Oneself Ragged

Meaning: Exhausting oneself through constant activity.

In a Sentence: Balancing work and family, she often ran herself ragged but never gave up.

24. Working Day and Night

Meaning: Working continuously, without rest.

In a Sentence: To finish the urgent task, they were working day and night, without breaks.

25. Working Tirelessly

Meaning: Working without stopping, with great effort.

In a Sentence: The scientist worked tirelessly on the research project for years.

26. Grindstone Mentality

Meaning: A mindset of consistent and hard work.

In a Sentence: Her grindstone mentality helped her achieve her career goals.

27. Busting One’s Hump

Meaning: Working extremely hard, often under pressure.

In a Sentence: Despite the tough conditions, they were busting their humps to meet the project deadline.

10 Quizzes About The Idiom in The Article

Quiz 1: Burning the Midnight Oil

Question: What does the idiom “Burning the midnight oil” mean?

  • A) Extinguishing fires at midnight.
  • B) Working late into the night.
  • C) Lighting candles for midnight prayers.

Answer: B) Working late into the night.


Quiz 2: Nose to the Grindstone

Question: What does the phrase “Nose to the grindstone” signify?

  • A) Working diligently and consistently.
  • B) Resting with your face on a stone.
  • C) Staying away from hard work.

Answer: A) Working diligently and consistently.


Quiz 3: Sweat Equity

Question: What does the idiom “Sweat equity” mean?

  • A) Ownership of a sweatshop.
  • B) Ownership or value earned through hard work and effort.
  • C) Buying shares in a gym.

Answer: B) Ownership or value earned through hard work and effort.


Quiz 4: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Question: What does the expression “Blood, sweat, and tears” represent?

  • A) A recipe for a powerful drink.
  • B) Intense effort, sacrifice, and hard work.
  • C) A medical condition.

Answer: B) Intense effort, sacrifice, and hard work.


Quiz 5: Going the Extra Mile

Question: What does the phrase “Going the extra mile” imply?

  • A) Taking a longer route to work.
  • B) Putting in more effort than required.
  • C) Traveling an extra mile for leisure.

Answer: B) Putting in more effort than required.


Quiz 6: Pulling an All-Nighter

Question: When someone “pulls an all-nighter,” what are they doing?

  • A) Sleeping for an extended period.
  • B) Staying awake and working throughout the night.
  • C) Having a late-night party.

Answer: B) Staying awake and working throughout the night.


Quiz 7: Leaving No Stone Unturned

Question: What does the idiom “Leaving no stone unturned” mean?

  • A) Avoiding rocks while hiking.
  • B) Examining every option and putting in exhaustive effort.
  • C) Skipping some steps in a project.

Answer: B) Examining every option and putting in exhaustive effort.


Quiz 8: Working Like a Trojan

Question: What does it mean to “work like a Trojan”?

  • A) Working while playing a video game.
  • B) Working extremely hard and tirelessly.
  • C) Working on a computer named “Trojan.”

Answer: B) Working extremely hard and tirelessly.


Quiz 9: Grindstone Mentality

Question: What does having a “grindstone mentality” imply?

  • A) Always carrying a grindstone.
  • B) A mindset of consistent and hard work.
  • C) Being a professional grinder.

Answer: B) A mindset of consistent and hard work.


Quiz 10: Busting One’s Hump

Question: What does it mean to be “busting one’s hump”?

  • A) Relaxing and taking it easy.
  • B) Working extremely hard, often under pressure.
  • C) Having a physical injury.

Answer: B) Working extremely hard, often under pressure.

Conclusion

These idioms for hard work reflect the dedication, effort, and perseverance required to achieve success in various aspects of life. As you encounter challenges and strive for your goals, remember these idioms that encapsulate the essence of hard work.

Cite this entry:

Phrasesdirectory.com. “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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