English Idiom – Chase rainbows.

Meaning – To pursue unrealistic goals or dreams. To try to get something you can never have. If you are chasing rainbows you are wasting your time trying to do something you are unlikely to be able to achieve.

Can you remember the colours of the rainbow in English?


When could you use this idiom?

  • A friend has set unrealistic goals and you are trying to convince them to be more realistic.
  • Your colleague at work is waiting for a promotion that he is never going to get.
  • An amateur sportsperson is trying to become professional, despite lack of skill and effort.
  • Someone is trying to achieve the impossible!


  • “Stop being daft. You’re never going to replace the boss. She does a great job and she’s been here forever. Stop chasing rainbows!”

In The News:

Adam Marshall: Westminster “cannot keep chasing rainbows”


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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