Binomials in English Language



Binomials in English Language are the expressions containing two words usually joined by the conjunctions and or or.

For example

Black and white

Hot and cold

Ups and downs

Give or take

Make or break


 Most of the binomials in English are irreversible and fixed and they happen to appear only in one order. These binomials are also sometimes called Siamese twins named after Chang and Eng Bunker, the conjoined twins from Siam.

For example

By and large

Pros and cons

Short and sweet

Sick and tired

Do or die

More or less


There are many binomials in English which I do not intend to include in the following list.  But here, an effort has been made to provide you the binomials which are regularly used in our day to day life.

These binomials have been classified into five categories as:

  • Binomials with opposite words (antonyms)

  • Binomials with related words (synonyms)

  • Binomials with alliteration (similar sound)

  • Binomials with rhyming words

  • Binomials with repetitive words (reduplication)


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Binomials in English Language

Binomials in English Language with opposite words (antonyms)

Words joined by the conjunction ‘and’


Binomial Pair                                                                    Meaning

Assets and liabilities the two main elements of balance sheet
Back and forth moving backward and forward; to-and-fro
Black and white sharply defined; clear-cut
Bride and groom woman and man getting married
By and large on the whole; everything considered
Cause and effect a combination of action and reaction
Cops and robbers police trying to catch criminals (in movies)
Come and go arrive and then depart again; move around freely
Cowboys and Indians A game in which the players assume the traditional roles of cowboys and Indians
Day and night all the time; continuously
Dos and don’ts rules and regulations; detailed instructions
Ebb and flow the situation that changes frequently
First and last  in all respects; fundamentally; on the whole
Forward and backward in both directions alternately; to and fro
Give and take the practice of making mutual concessions : compromise
The great and small people of all ranks
The haves and


rich and poor people in the society
Here and there  in one place and another; in various places
Hide and seek a children’s game
High and low in many different places; everywhere
Hither and thither in various directions
Hot and cold to change the mind a lot about whether to like someone or something
In and out to the last detail; exhaustively; thoroughly
Ladies and gentlemen used to address the audience
Long and short The main idea or facts of something
Lost and found a place where lost items are stored to await retrieval by their owners; a lost property
Loud and clear clearly expressed and easy to understand
Near and far from a very wide area
Night and day all the time; constantly
Now and then from time to time
On and off intermittently
Park and ride A transport system for reducing urban traffic congestion
Pros and cons arguments for and against
Rise and fall  go to the top and down to the bottom, fluctuate
Stop and go involving frequent stops
Thick and thin every difficulty and obstacle  – used especially in the phrase through thick and thin
Ups and downs alternating rise and fall especially in fortune
Yes and no no definite answer
Young and old of all ages

Binomials in English Language

Words joined by different conjunctions and prepositions

Beginning to end the start of a series of events that leads to the end; throughout
Dusk till dawn from sunset to sunrise; night time
Floor to ceiling used for describing things such as windows or pieces of furniture that are the full height of a wall
Front to back with the front where the back should be; backwards
Give or take plus or minus a small specified amount
Life or death very important and crucial
Make or break the thing which decides whether something succeeds or fails
More or less approximately; almost
North to south extending between the north and the south
Rain or shine whether it rains or not; whatever the weather
Start to finish from the beginning to the end
Sooner or later at some future time; eventually
Top to bottom in a very thorough way

Binomials with related words (synonyms)

Words joined by the conjunction ‘and’

Bits and pieces an assortment of small items
Body and soul involving every aspect of a person; completely
Clean and tidy Free from dirt or stain
Dot the i’s and cross the t’s ensure that all details are correct
Far and wide in every direction; everywhere
First and foremost most importantly; more than anything else
Head and shoulders  beyond comparison; by far
Heart and soul with complete sincerity and devotion
House and home an emphatic form of home
Leaps and bounds by very large degree; rapidly or in quick progress forward
Nook and cranny Every possible place or part of something, down to the smallest ones
Null and void having no legal force
Pain and suffering mental or especially physical distress for which one may seek damages in a tort action
Peace and quiet tranquility; freedom from stress or interruptions
Pick and choose select only the best from a number of alternatives
Plain and simple essentially or fundamentally so, without exaggeration or elaboration
Short and sweet pleasantly brief; not lasting a long time or requiring a lot of time
Sick and tired thoroughly fatigued or bored
Skin and bone very thin in a way that is unattractive and unhealthy
Skull and crossbones a symbol of a human skull with two long bones crossed below it

Words joined by different conjunctions and prepositions

By hook or by crook by any possible means
Like father, like son a son’s character or behaviour can be expected to resemble that of his father
Like mother, like daughter daughters resemble their mothers

Binomials in English Language

Binomials with alliteration (similar sound in initial words)

Words joined by the conjunction ‘and’

Bag and baggage with all one’s belongings
Black and blue covered in livid bruises
Bread and butter a person’s livelihood or main source of income
Cash and carry sold for cash payment and no delivery service
Chalk and cheese used for saying that two people or things are completely different from each other
Command and control the running of an armed force or other organization
Deaf and dumb (of a person) both deaf and unable to speak
(Between the) devil and the deep blue sea in a difficult situation where there are two equally unpleasant choices
Dine and dash eating at a restaurant and leaving without paying
Done and dusted (of a project) be completely finished or ready
Down and dirty highly competitive or unprincipled
Drink and drive drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol
Fast and furious full of rapid action; lively and exciting
Flora and fauna Plant life and wildlife, collectively
Forgive and forget both pardon and hold no resentment concerning a past event.
Kith and kin one’s friends and relatives
Life and limb life and all bodily faculties
Mix and match to put different things (such as pieces of clothing) together in different ways
Part and parcel An essential or fundamental part or aspect (of something)
Rock and roll showing eagerness to do, or start something
Rough and ready crude in nature, method, or manner but effective in action or use
Safe and sound  free from danger or injury
Toss and turn you keep moving around in bed and cannot sleep properly
Wash and wear (of a garment or fabric) easily washed, drying quickly, and not needing to be ironed

Words joined by different conjunctions and prepositions

Feast or famine either too much of something or too little
Flip-flop move with a flapping sound or motion
Last but not least last in order of mention or occurrence but not of importance
Pillar to post moving from one place to another with a little purpose
Rags to riches used to describe a person’s rise from a state of extreme poverty to one of great wealth
Ready to rumble get ready to gang-fight
Tit for tat an equivalent given in return (as for an injury); retaliation in kind
Slowly but surely achieving the desired results gradually and reliably rather than quickly and spectacularly
So far, so good progress has been satisfactory up to now

Binomials in English Language

Binomials with rhyming words

Words joined by the conjunction ‘and’

Chalk and talk the traditional method of teaching, consisting mainly of talking and writing on a chalkboard
Flotsam and jetsam useless or unimportant items; odds and ends; homeless people
Huff and puff to breathe loudly, usually after physical exercise
Hustle and bustle a large amount of activity and work, usually in a noisy surrounding
Meet and greet an occasion when people can meet each other
Near and dear very close in relationship
Out and about going to different places
Wear and tear the damage that happens to an object in ordinary use during a period
Wine and dine entertain someone with food and drink, esp. expensive food and drink

Words joined by different conjunctions and prepositions

Double trouble a very troublesome thing or person
Even Steven used in reference to fair and equal competition or distribution of resources
Fender bender a road accident in which the vehicles involved are only slightly damaged
My way or the highway used to say that people have to do what you say; otherwise, they will have to leave or quit the project
Use it or lose it it means that if you don’t continue to practice or use an ability, you might lose that ability

Binomials in English Language

Binomials with repetitive words (reduplication)

Words joined by the conjunction ‘and’

Again and again repeatedly
By and by after a short period; eventually
More and more at a continually increasing rate
Neck and neck level in a race or other competition
On and on continually; at tedious length
Out and out in every respect; absolute
Over and over again and again
So and so used instead of a particular name to refer to someone or something
Such and such used for referring to something without saying exactly what it is

Words joined by different conjunctions and prepositions

All in all on the whole
Arm in arm (of two or more people) with arms linked
Back to back facing in opposite directions, often with the backs touching
Bumper to bumper very close together, as cars in a traffic jam
Let bygones be bygones forget past offences or causes of conflict and be reconciled
Day to day happening regularly every day
Day by day on each successive day; gradually and steadily
Four-by-four a vehicle equipped with four-wheel drive
End to end in a row with the end of one object touching that of another
Face to face (of two people) close together and facing each other
Hand in hand closely associated or connected
Hand to hand (of fighting) at close quarters
Horror of horrors used to describe something as shocking or horrible
Little by little by small degrees or amounts; gradually
Shoulder to shoulder side by side
Side by side together
Step by step gradually
Time to time at intervals; occasionally
Tooth for a tooth the principle that a person who has injured another person is penalized to a similar degree; law of retaliation







Post Author: CHALLA

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