Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to depth: depth perception, depth psychology, Depth first search
in the depths of (something)
In the middle of and wholly consumed by a particularly negative and/or difficult situation or emotional state. The country was in the depths of the worst economic disaster of the last century. While I was in the depths of depression, I found that I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning.
fathom the depths of (something)
To explore or penetrate the deepest, core meaning or nature of something. The movie hardly fathoms the depths of the human condition, but it's an entertaining picture nonetheless. You really have to fathom the depths of your own imagination to get the most out of reading her latest novel.
be out of (one's) depth
To be in a field or situation that exceeds one's knowledge or ability. Of course she's out of her depth with 25 employees reporting to her—she had hardly any supervisory experience before you gave her the job! I asked Alex to consult on this project because it's a bit out of my depth.
beyond (one's) depth
1. In water that is too deep for one to swim in. The lifeguard had to save the girl who had gotten beyond her depth in the pool.
2. Advanced beyond one's ability to understand or make sense of the subject matter or task at hand. The stuff they're teaching in this advanced math class is beyond my depth.
beyond one's depth
1. Lit. in water that is too deep. Sally swam out from the beach until she was beyond her depth. Jane swam out to get her even though it was beyond her depth, too.
2. Fig. beyond one's understanding or capabilities. I'm beyond my depth in calculus class. Poor John was involved in a problem that was really beyond his depth.
*out of one's depth
Fig. involved in something that is beyond one's capabilities. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) You know, you are really out of your depth in this project. I am sure I am out of my depth in organic chemistry.
in a complete way that includes everything in detail There wasn't time to go into each problem in depth, but we did get a short description of every case.
See also: depth
out of your depth
knowing very little about a subject I know I'm out of my depth with teenagers.
plumb the depths (of something)
to carefully examine something in order to understand or explain it Who would want to plumb the depths of the criminal mind?
Etymology: based on plumb line (a cord with a heavy piece of metal attached to it, used to measure the depth of water under a ship)
be out of your depth
to not have the knowledge, experience, or skills to deal with a particular subject or situation When Ruth started talking about the differences between the databases, I knew I was out of my depth. By half-time, England was losing 4-0 and the English players were looking hopelessly out of their depth.
plumb the depths
1. to experience extreme sadness (usually + of ) His wife left him in May and during the following months he plumbed the depths of despair.
2. to understand something in detail, especially something that is difficult to understand (usually + of ) In hypnosis we plumb the depths of the unconscious.
3. if something that someone does or says plumbs the depths, it is very bad (often + of ) I read one review which said the show plumbed the depths of tastelessness.
sink to such depths
to behave very badly I find it hard to believe that human beings could sink to such depths.
Profoundly, thoroughly, as in It will take years to cover the entire subject in depth. [Mid-1900s]
See also: depth
out of one's depth
Also, beyond one's depth. Outside one's understanding or competence, as in He was out of his depth in that advanced calculus class, or The conductor realized that playing the fugue at the right tempo was beyond their depth . This expression alludes to being in water so deep that one might sink. [c. 1600] Also see over one's head.