Learn 20 Interesting Disapproval Expressions

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These expressions are used to show disagreement, criticism, or disdain. Here are 20 idioms and phrasal verbs that convey disapproval.

Disapproval Expressions

  1. Shake one’s head
    Meaning: Express disapproval or disappointment
    Example: The teacher shook her head at the student’s excuse.
  2. Turn up one’s nose
    Meaning: Show disdain or dislike
    Example: She turned up her nose at the offer.
  3. Frown upon
    Meaning: Disapprove of
    Example: The community frowned upon loud parties.
  4. Look down on
    Meaning: Consider inferior or unworthy
    Example: He tends to look down on his coworkers.
  5. Give the cold shoulder
    Meaning: Ignore or show disapproval
    Example: He gave her the cold shoulder after the argument.
  6. Not see eye to eye
    Meaning: Disagree with
    Example: They don’t see eye to eye on politics.
  7. Thumb one’s nose at
    Meaning: Show disrespect or disdain
    Example: He thumbed his nose at the rules.
  8. Give someone the boot
    Meaning: Dismiss or fire someone
    Example: The manager gave him the boot after the incident.
  9. Shoot down
    Meaning: Reject or dismiss
    Example: She shot down his business proposal immediately.
  10. Not hold water
    Meaning: Lack credibility or validity
    Example: His excuses don’t hold water.
  11. Pull the plug on
    Meaning: Stop or discontinue
    Example: They pulled the plug on the failing project.
  12. Cry foul
    Meaning: Complain about an unfair situation
    Example: The team cried foul over the referee’s call.
  13. Turn a blind eye to
    Meaning: Ignore something wrong
    Example: The authorities turned a blind eye to corruption.
  14. Cut someone down to size
    Meaning: Bring someone back to reality
    Example: His colleagues cut him down to size after his arrogance.
  15. Chew someone out
    Meaning: Scold or reprimand harshly
    Example: The boss chewed him out for being late.
  16. Cross the line
    Meaning: Behave inappropriately or unacceptably
    Example: His comments really crossed the line.
  17. Give someone a hard time
    Meaning: Criticize or trouble someone
    Example: She gives her brother a hard time.
  18. Read the riot act
    Meaning: Sternly reprimand or warn
    Example: The coach read the riot act to the players.
  19. Throw the book at
    Meaning: Punish or penalize harshly
    Example: The judge threw the book at the offender.
  20. Look askance at
    Meaning: Regard with suspicion or disapproval
    Example: The neighbors looked askance at his behavior.

disapproval expressions

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