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dip (one's) toe in the water

To tentatively begin or get involved in a new experience. Likened to gently placing one's toe into water to test its temperature. I'm terrified that people won't like my writing, but I've been dipping my toe in the water at a local writer's club to get a sense of it. I've always preferred to dive right into new experiences, rather than just dipping a toe in the water, but everyone is different, I suppose.
See also: dip, toe, water

dip (one's) toe into (something)

To tentatively begin or get involved in a new experience. Likened to gently placing one's toe into water to test its temperature. I studied graphic design in college, but I've been dipping my toe into writing fiction lately. I've always wanted to travel the world, but I've never left the US. I'll dip my toe into it this summer, though, with a short trip to Toronto.
See also: dip, toe

dip out

1. To leave a place quickly, suddenly, and/or inconspicuously. The lecture was so boring that I just dipped out when the professor wasn't looking.
2. To miss out on or choose not to participate in something. (Usually followed by "on.") Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. Many students end up dipping out on government funding for third-level education because they simply don't understand the application process. I think I'll dip out on that party this evening, I'd rather just stay at home.
3. To fail an exam or course at school. Primarily heard in Australia, New Zealand. Jonathan was eager to leave school, but he dipped out in his final exams and had to repeat the year.
4. To exit due to a failure to advance, as from a sports tournament. Though heavily favored to win the championship for a third straight year, the team dipped out after only the second round.
See also: dip, out

lucky dip

1. noun A game in which a person (typically a child) pays to search through a container in the hopes of picking out a prize that cannot be seen. Primarily heard in UK. I remember playing the lucky dip when I was young. In those days, cheap little toys were hidden in barrels of sawdust, and you had to pick them out with your eyes closed!
2. noun Any process or method in which the outcome is chosen or selected at random or without certainty. Primarily heard in UK. Buying a car online that's worth your money can be something of a lucky dip.
3. adjective (hyphenated and used before a noun) Of or having a process of random selection. Primarily heard in UK. To make room selection fair for all incoming students, the university decided to implement a lucky-dip system for room assignments.
See also: dip, lucky

dip into the blue

euphemism To say something obscene. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to dip into the blue there—the whole situation just makes me so angry! Poor Bobby couldn't stop blushing after he accidentally dipped into the blue while talking to my grandparents.
See also: blue, dip

chips and dip

A snack consisting of chips and a sauce or condiment to dip them into. Put out some chips and dip for everyone before the show starts.
See also: and, chip, dip

chips and dip

potato chips, or some other kind of crisp snack food, and a sauce or dressing to dip them into before eating them. There were tons of chips and dip and all kinds of cold drinks available for everyone.
See also: and, chip, dip

dip into one's savings

Fig. to take out part of the money one has been saving. (See also dip in(to something).) I had to dip into my savings in order to pay for my vacation. I went to the bank and dipped into savings. There wasn't much left.
See also: dip, saving

dip in

 (to something)
1. . to reach into a liquid. I dipped into the dishwater, looking for the missing spoon. I dipped in and there it was.
2. to reach into a substance, usually to remove some of the substance. I dipped into the sour cream with a potato chip and brought out an enormous glob. He grabbed the jar of peanut butter and dipped in.
3. [for something] to sink or lower into a liquid. The oars dipped into the water and came out again. The lower branches sagged down to the water and dipped in.
See also: dip

dip something in(to) something

 and dip something in
to put something into a substance in order to take some of it. Tom dipped some of the bread into the cheese sauce. Dip in the bread again and get some more cheese on it.
See also: dip

dip to something

to decline to a lower level quickly or briefly. The temperature dipped into the lower twenties overnight. The stock market dipped to a very low level during the day Friday.
See also: dip


to swim naked. The boys were skinny-dipping in the creek when Bob's mother drove up.

dip into something

to use a small amount of something The local government voted to dip into the emergency fund to pay for repairing the old town hall.
See also: dip


the activity of receiving money from two different places or two different jobs, often when it is not honest or legal The government has introduced tighter rules on employees' pensions to discourage double-dipping. (American)

dig/dip into your pocket

to use your own money to pay for something Parents of young children have to dig deep into their pockets at Christmas-time.
See pick pocket
See also: dig, pocket

chip and dip

Also, chip'n dip. A snack food or an appetizer consisting of potato chips, crackers, or raw vegetables (like carrot sticks) that are used to scoop up a dip, a savory creamy mixture. For example, There wasn't much to eat; all they served was a chip and dip. The term is also used for the utensils employed for this dish-a plate for the crackers and a small bowl for the dip. [Mid-1900s]
See also: and, chip, dip

dip into

1. Investigate superficially, as in He began to dip into Chaucer, or She's just dipping into psychology. This expression alludes to plunging briefly into a liquid. [Late 1600s]
2. Withdraw something in small amounts, usually money, as in I'll have to dip into my savings. This usage employs dip into in the sense of plunging one's hand or a ladle into a pot, water, or the like for the purpose of taking something out. [Early 1800s]
See also: dip

dip one's toes into

Also, get one's toes into or wet . Begin to do something novel or unfamiliar, as in I have been dipping my toes into Asian cooking, or She's eager to go to Europe and has been getting her toes wet by getting travel information. [Late 1900s] Also see get one's feet wet.
See also: dip, toe

dip into

1. To plunge something briefly into a liquid: I dipped the donut into the coffee.
2. To take a small amount of something from where it is stored: We have been dipping into the olives you bought all day, but there are still some left.
3. To withdraw a small amount from some place where it is stored or kept: We dipped into our savings account to buy the car.
4. To browse something: I dipped into the book, but I didn't read the whole thing.
5. To investigate some subject superficially; dabble in something: I've dipped into psychology, but it never really interested me.
See also: dip


1. n. a drunkard. (From dipsomaniac.) Buy the dip a drink. That’ll shut him up for a while.
2. and dipper n. a pickpocket. (Underworld.) The dip tried a snatch, but the dupe turned around at the wrong time. The cops picked up three dippers, working as a group, at the fairgrounds.
3. n. a pinch or helping of snuff. He took a dip just before he picked up the bat.
4. n. a wad of chewing tobacco. You could see he had a big dip in his cheek.
5. n. an oaf; a jerk. (Probably from dipshit.) Why are you acting like such a dip?