The English language has many idioms that are often used in conversation. In this blog post, I want to teach you some common idioms with apple that will be useful for you when talking with native speakers. I put together a list of common idioms with their definitions and example sentences so you can see how these idioms are used naturally in conversation.
- A Bad Apple
- A Rotten Apple
- A Second Bite Of The Apple
- A Worm In The Apple
- An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
- An Apple-Polisher
- Apples And Oranges
- As American As Apple Pie
- How Do You Like Them Apples
- One Rotten Apple Spoils The Bunch
- Road Apple
- The Apple Doesn’t Fall Too Far From The Tree
- The Apple Of My Eye
- The Big Apple
Keep reading for definitions, real example sentences, and apple idioms in the news. Plus a free PDF download and video. Everything you need to know about English Idioms with Apple in one place.
An apple is a round fruit with shiny red or green skin that is fairly hard and white inside
- When I was in elementary school I brought an apple to school in my lunch bag every day.
Apple Word Origin
The word apple comes from other older languages.
Old English æppel, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch appel and German Apfel.
Compound words with apple
Adam’s apple noun the part at the front of the throat that sticks out, particularly in men, and moves up and down when you swallow
- He has a tattoo on his neck just below his Adam’s apple.
apple cider noun a drink made from the juice of apples that does not contain alcohol
- People often drink apple cider warm, unlike apple juice which is served cold.
apple cider vinegar noun is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice, and used in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, food preservatives, and more.
- “Apple cider vinegar has become a popular home remedy in recent years and has been used for centuries in cooking and medicine.” SOURCE
apple sauce noun a thick sauce made by cooking apples and sugar in a small amount of water
- “This pork tenderloin is delicious, but it would be even better with a little bit of apple sauce on top.”
candy apple noun an apple covered with a thin layer of hard toffee and fixed on a stick
- “Eating a candy apple was the perfect sweet treat to end our day at the carnival.”
apple-cheeked adjective having round pink cheeks and looking healthy
- “Her children were apple-cheeked and always smiling.”
*Note when there is a song named after an Idiom
A Bad Apple – a person who is troublesome or corrupt
- “I can’t stand working with her, she’s such a bad apple.”
- “Andrew is the bad apple in my math class. He bothers his classmates every day.”
A Rotten Apple – a bad or corrupt person
- “He’s a rotten apple, always causing trouble and getting into mischief.”
- “I stopped hanging out with Andrew after I learned what a rotten apple he is.”
A Second Bite Of The Apple – a second chance or an opportunity to try again after a previous failure or setback.
- “After his failed business venture, he was given a second bite of the apple with a new opportunity.”
- “After my initial idea was not accepted, I was given a second bite of the apple to present a new idea to the investors.”
A Worm In The Apple – a hidden problem or defect
- “Our new product starts production next Tuesday. If there’s a worm in the apple, we need to find it now.”
- “The new database software we were developing had to be scrapped. After all the time and money we spent our boss was so disappointed to find a worm in the apple at the end of the project.”
An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away – eating healthy can prevent illness
- “I’ve heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but regular exercise also doesn’t hurt.”
- “Hannah, I really think you need to make some changes to your diet. You know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
An Apple Polisher – someone who sucks up to authority
- “Don’t trust her, she’s just an apple polisher trying to get ahead by kissing up to the boss.”
- “My boss is clever, she can tell who is sincere and who is just an apple polisher trying to win favor.
Apples And Oranges – (especially in North American English) used to describe a situation in which two people or things are completely different from each other
- “Comparing the two options is like comparing apples and oranges, they are completely different.”
- “On the surface, the two ideas seem similar but if you look at each one in detail you will see that they’re apples and oranges.”
As American As Apple Pie – used to say that something is typical of America
- Watching fireworks on the 4th of July is as American as apple pie.
- Having a backyard barbeque party with your neighbors is as American as apple pie. I remember these parties happening every summer in my neighborhood when I was a boy.
How Do You Like Them Apples – 1) 1. A phrase used to draw attention to one’s cleverness or superiority to the one being addressed, especially after a recent triumph.
- “I just got a promotion at work, How do you like them apples?”
2) That is surprising and/or disappointing.
- My favorite tailor is closing his shop after 41 years in business. How do you like them apples?
One Rotten Apple Spoils The Bunch – if one person in a group is bad or corrupt, it can have a negative effect on the entire group. Just like if one apple in a bunch is bad it can affect the other apples as well.
- “One rotten apple spoils the bunch, so we have to be careful to watch out for bad influences. I only want people working on this team that I can trust.”
- “She could see that one of the apples in the basket was starting to rot, and she knew that if she didn’t throw it away soon, it would spoil the rest of them. As you know, one rotten apple spoils the bunch.”
Road Apple – horse manure
- “I almost stepped in a road apple, it’s lucky I saw it in time. The mounted police in the city need to do a better job of cleaning up after their horses.”
- “The farmer had to be careful not to step on any road apples while working in the field.”
The Apple Doesn’t Fall Too Far From The Tree – (saying, especially North American English) a child usually behaves in a similar way to his or her parent(s)
- “Just like his father, he’s always been a bit of a troublemaker. It seems the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”
- “He’s always been interested in music, just like his father before him, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”
The Apple Of My Eye – something or someone that is greatly valued and cherished
- “My daughter is the apple of my eye, I love her more than anything.”
- “Curtis loved his car, it was the apple of his eye in high school.”
The Big Apple – this is a nickname for New York City.
- “I’m going to the Big Apple next week for business.”
- “New York City is known as the Big Apple, it’s one of the most famous cities in the world.”
The “Big Apple” nickname comes from horse racing in New York in the 1920s.
A reporter wrote about the many horse races and racecourses in and around New York. He referred to the substantial prizes to be won as “the big apple,” symbolizing the biggest and best one can achieve. SOURCE
Apple Idioms In The News
Campaigners dump 1,071 rotten apples — one for each officer investigated over allegations of violence against women and girls — outside Scotland Yard
Ben Savage wants another bite at the apple in politics — only this time, he’s thinking bigger … now running for a U.S. Congressional seat.
There is a quote that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away‘. Apples are the second most consumed fruit worldwide due to their health benefits.
Charles and Harry have both dabbled in unexpected religions and philosophies, with Harry consulting an Ayurvedic doctor before Archie was born and Charles praising Islamic theology as well as advocating for alternative medicine.
In their younger years, both had a reputation as playboy princes, amid plentiful speculation over when and with whom they would finally settle down.
It seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Printable Apple Idiom PDF Word List
Download the Word List as a printable PDF. Great for teachers to use with private or group classes. PDF contains the live links from the post.↓
If you can think of any apple idioms that I left out, please tell me in the comments.
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