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Difference between Cliché and Idiom

Difference between Cliché and Idiom

When learning a new language, one of the first things you learn are the different types of expressions used in that language. Two of the most common expression types are clichés and idioms. Though they may seem similar, there is a big difference between these two types of expressions. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between clichés and idioms and provide some examples for each. We hope this information helps you to better understand these expressions when you encounter them in your next foreign language class or conversation!

What is Cliché?

A cliché is a phrase or expression that has become so overused that it has lost its original meaning or impact. Clichés are often used in everyday speech and writing in an attempt to make something sound more original or interesting. However, because they are so overused, they actually have the opposite effect. Clichés can be found in all areas of language, from idioms and proverbs to metaphors and similes. While some clichés are simply tired and overused, others can be downright offensive or misleading. In either case, it is best to avoid using them in your own writing. Not only will you avoid sounding trite or unoriginal, but you will also be able to communicate your ideas more clearly.

What is Idiom?

An idiom is a figure of speech that is a word or phrase that has a meaning that is not literal. An idiom’s symbolic sense is quite different from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made. Idiom examples in everyday speech include “I’m pulling your leg,” “it cost me an arm and a leg,” and “that really takes the cake.” Idiom sets up a picture in the mind, which appeals to our senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell. The use of Idiom provides color to our language and can Yogi Berra famously said “It ain’t over till it’s over” – meaning that we shouldn’t give up until the very end, even if things look bleak. Idioms are interesting because they often reflect culture and history – for example, the “ rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law that allowed men to beat their wives with a stick no thicker than their thumb. While idioms can be picturesque, they can also create confusion for people who are not familiar with them.

Difference between Cliché and Idiom

Though Cliché and Idiom are both figures of speech, there is a difference between the two. Clichés are phrases that have been overused to the point that they are no longer original or effective. Idioms, on the other hand, are expressions that have a meaning that cannot be understood from the literal definition of the words used. Clichés are often considered trite and should be avoided in formal writing, while idioms can be used to add color and style to your prose. When used judiciously, idioms can add interest and personality to your writing; when overused, however, they can make your writing seem unoriginal and amateurish. As a general rule, it is best to use clichés sparingly and to choose idiomatic expressions that will resonate with your audience.


Clichés are overused expressions that have lost their impact, while idioms are culturally specific phrases with a particular meaning. Understanding the difference between these two linguistic concepts is important for anyone looking to improve their writing skills. Although they may sound similar, clichés and idioms should be used differently in order to avoid sounding trite or confusing your readers. Have you ever used an idiom incorrectly, thinking it was a cliché? If so, you’re not alone – many people make this mistake. But now that you know the difference, you can avoid using them incorrectly in the future.

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