Work like a charm

Photo of author

| Grammarist

| Updated:

| Idiom

Work like a charm is an idiom. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the idiom work like a charm, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To work like a charm means to work extremely well, to be very effective, to function very efficiently to produce highly favorable results. The expression work like a charm is an allusion to magic; the idea is that the item functioned in such an effective manner that is almost seemed to be under a magic spell. The idiom work like a charm came into use in the 1820s; related phrases are works like a charm, worked like a charm, working like a charm.


Unlike traditional celebrities, influencers enjoy a strong rapport with their fans thus making influencer marketing work like a charm for creating brand awareness and achieving other marketing goals. (The Financial Express)

There’s echo cancellation and noise reduction features which work like a charm during Zoom calls or Google Meet meetings. (Economic Times)

Whatever Larrick said between the third and fourth sets, however, worked like a charm as Brookside rediscovered its game. (The Chronicle Telegram)

Leave a Comment