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I'm using Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 9th edition as a source for definitions but sometimes it doesn't show informal or literary expressions even if they are very common especially when the expression is formed of more than two words.

Examples of phrases I couldn't find:

  • on the rise
  • rise out of
  • to the limit
  • feeds the dying light
  • to guide home
  • peace of mind
  • Destroyer, come tonight
  • The end doesn't justify the means
  • Concerning online resources, I'd suggest onelook.com – Ansa211 Mar 4 at 9:08
  • Merriam Webster has some of the idioms that you named. Others are easily derived from the meaning of the individual words, especially their more metaphorical applications (for example, in "feeds" or "home"). This is true both for set phrases ("the end doesn't justify the means") and for phrases invented for poetic effect ("Destroyer, come tonight," which is really a question of understanding "Destroyer" rather than the phrase as a whole). – Maroon Sep 2 at 18:10
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What I do is I use a context dictionary/website (e.g. linguee.com, context.reverse.net). You choose the languages you can speak e.g. if you are a French learner learning English, you choose English and French. Then you type in the phrase you are looking for and you will get English texts in which the phrase appears next to a French translation of the text. The good thing is that you get multiple results and by comparing the English and French texts, you can workout what the phrase means.

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