|at this stage of the game||This expression refers to the current point reached in a process, activity or developing situation.
At this stage of the game I think any further intervention would be unwise. Let's wait and see how things develop.
|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.
|automatic pilot||If you are on automatic pilot, you do something without thinking about it or having to pay attention, because you do it regularly.
Fred's on automatic pilot today - he didn't even hear my question!
|of no avail||Something which is of no avail is not at all helpful or useful.
The coffee machine wouldn't work, and the instruction leaflet was of no avail.
|avowed intent||When someone makes a public declaration of their objective or goal, this is their avowed intent.
The avowed intent of the new government is to reduce unemployment.
|a rude awakening||If you get a rude awakening, you are forced to accept the unpleasant truth or reality.
She thought Charlie would want her back, but she got a rude awakening - he was already dating another girl.
|away with the fairies||Someone who is away with the fairies is in such a dreamy state that they are not totally in touch with reality and give the impression of being slightly mad.
It's no use trying to explain the problem to her - she's away with the fairies!
|have an axe to grind||If you have an axe to grind, you have personal reasons for becoming involved in something or adopting a particular attitude.
It was decided that the best candidate would be selected by a recruitment agency who had no axe to grind within the company.
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