|batten down the hatches||When you batten down the hatches, you prepare yourself for danger or a forthcoming difficult period, like a ship preparing for a storm.|
Here comes that trouble-making guy. Batten down the hatches!
|calculated risk||A calculated risk is a risk taken with full knowledge of the dangers involved.|
The company took a calculated risk when they hired Sean straight out of college.
|throw caution to the wind||If you throw caution to the wind, you start taking risks and stop worrying about the danger involved.|
I decided to throw caution to the wind and invest in my best friend’s new company.
|close shave||This term describes a situation where an accident or a disaster nearly happened.|
I almost hit the child who ran out in front of my car. It was a close shave.
|coast is clear||To say that the coast is clear means that there is no danger in sight or that nobody can see you.|
OK. The dog has gone inside. The coast is clear.
|cry wolf||To cry wolf is to call for help when you are not really in danger.|
As a result, nobody believes you when you really need help.
There’s Mary screaming again! Does she really have a problem or is she just crying wolf again?
|dice with death||If you put your life at risk by doing something very dangerous, youdice with death.|
Going mountain-climbing alone is dicing with death.
|dicey situation||Any situation that is potentially risky or dangerous is called a dicey situation.|
The politician put himself in a dicey situation by getting involved with an intern.
|false move||In a dangerous or risky situation, if you make a false move, you|
do something which may have unpleasant consequences.
He is under close surveillance. If he makes one false move he’ll be arrested.
|fraught with danger||An activity or situation that is fraught with danger is full of risks or serious difficulties.|
His journey across the mountains was fraught with danger.
|by a hair’s breadth||If you avoid or miss something by a hair’s breadth, you only just manage to escape from a danger.|
A slate fell off the roof and missed the child by a hair’s breadth.
|hang on for dear life||If you hang (or hold) on for dear life, you are in a dangerous situation and grip something firmly so as not to fall.|
Andy took his mother on the back of his motorbike where she hung on for dear life!
|live to tell the tale||Someone who lives to tell the tale survives a terrible experience.|
Only two members of the expedition lived to tell the tale.
|look before you leap||This is something you say when advising someone to think carefully about the possible dangers before doing something.|
Don’t decide too quickly. Look before you leap!
|no-go area|| A no-go area is an area, particularly in a city, where it is dangerous to go.|
Tourists have been advised to avoid parts of the city which have become no-go areas.
|out of harm’s way||If you put something out of harm’s way, you put it in a safe place where it won’t be damaged.|
I’m going to put this glass bowl out of harm’s way so that it doesn’t get broken.
|play with fire||People who take unnecessary risks or behave in a dangerous way are playing with fire.|
Driving alone on isolated roads in this weather is playing with fire.
|put your head on the block||If you put yourself in a dangerous situation where you risk losing your job or your reputation if things go wrong, you put your head on the block.|
Jenny asked me to recommend her son for the job, but I’m not putting my head on the block for someone I hardly know.
|ride it out|
ride out the storm
|If you manage to survive a dangerous or very unpleasant situation, like a ship sailing through a storm, you ride it out.|
His business was hit by the recession but he managed to ride it out.
|risk life and limb||If you risk life and limb, you are in danger of death or serious injury.|
The roads are icy today; you’ll risk life and limb if you go by car.
|in safe hands||If something is in safe hands, it is being looked after by a reliable person or organization, and is therefore at no risk.|
I’ll look after Jamie while you go shopping. Don’ worry – he’ll be in safe hands.
|on the safe side||If you do something to be on the safe side, you do it as a precaution, to avoid any risks.|
I think I locked the door but I’ll check again to be on the safe side.
|safety in numbers||This expression means that being part of a group makes people feel more secure and more confident when taking action.|
None of the group went sightseeing alone, knowing there was safety in numbers.
|sail close to the wind||If you sail close to the wind, you do something dangerous or act just within the limits of what is legal or acceptable.|
He seems to invest his money well although he often sails close to the wind.
|save one’s neck/skin||If you manage to escape from serious danger or trouble, you save your skin (or neck).|
He saved his skin by reversing off the bridge just before it collapsed.
|at stake||Someone who has a lot at stake is in a risky situation, with a lot to be won or lost.|
He was nervous about signing the agreement because there was a lot at stake.
|take cover||When someone takes cover, they hide from a danger, or bad weather, in a place where they find protection.|
As soon as the explosion was heard, people ran to take cover.
|take life in one’s own hands||To say that someone is taking their life in their hands means that they are taking the risk of being killed.|
If you drive home on this icy road, you’ll be taking your life in your hands.
|watch one’s step||If you tell someone to watch their step, you are advising them to be careful how they behave in order to avoid danger.|
There is zero tolerance in this school for bad behaviour, so watch your step!
|wrapped up in cotton wool||Someone who is wrapped up in cotton wool is over-protected from dangers and risks.|
Their children are kept wrapped up in cotton wool.