Idiom – Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

English Idiom – Let sleeping dogs lie.

Meaning –  This idiomatic expression means you should leave something alone if it might cause trouble. This idiom advises you to leave inactive problems alone. To have nothing to do with a situation.

This idiom is commonly given as advice to someone who may be about to instigate some kind of trouble or cause a problem.

The words in this idiom – let sleeping dogs lie – let the listener imagine there is a ferocious or scary dog sleeping. They are being advised not to wake this dangerous dog!

Related Expressions:


When could you use this idiom?

  • Somebody is asking you about some controversial gossip – and you don’t want to be involved.
  • A friend wants to ask a colleague about a particularly messy breakup.
  • You are trying to avoid talking about the elephant in the room!


  • “Don’t ask him about his divorce. It’s best to let sleeping dogs lie!”

In The News:

Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie, Or How I Found My Family in China

More Dogs on FunkyEnglish:



  • 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.

What is FunkyEnglish?

FunkyEnglish is a website that helps you improve your English. We offer quick lessons that teach idiomsslangphrasal verbs and more. Visit our homepage to see our latest articles, or use the menu to find specific content!

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