element

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Related to element 112: Element 116, Element 115, element 111

brave the elements

To go out into and endure bad or stormy weather. Usually used hyperbolically. Thank you for braving the elements to come pick me up. I know there's a slight drizzle, but if you can brave the elements, then you may go play outside for a while.
See also: brave, element

element of surprise

A method of stealth or secrecy employed to catch someone off-guard. I'll get mom to let me stay out till midnight, but I can't ask her now, when she's expecting it—I need the element of surprise. The fish camouflages itself and disappears onto the ocean floor, relying on the element of surprise to catch its prey.
See also: element, of, surprise

be in (one's) element

To be doing something that one is very comfortable with or proficient in. My mother is in her element in the kitchen and can make just about any dish.
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be out of (one's) element

To be uncomfortable in a certain situation, typically because one lacks experience or familiarity with it. She usually just orders takeout, so she's really out of her element in the kitchen. I know you're out of your element in this new school, but you'll make friends soon, and things will get better. I asked Alex to consult on this project because I'm out of my element here.
See also: element, of, out

in one's element

Fig. in a natural or comfortable situation or environment. Sally is in her element when she's working with algebra or calculus. Bob loves to work with color and texture. When he's painting, he's in his element.
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*out of one's element

Fig. not in a natural or comfortable situation. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) When it comes to computers, I'm out of my element. Sally's out of her element in math.
See also: element, of, out

in your element

doing something you like very much and are comfortable with Paul is in his element when he's working in the office, but when he's making sales calls, he's miserable.
Usage notes: the opposite meaning is expressed by out of your element (doing something that makes you very uncomfortable or unhappy): Grant was a great general, but as president, he was out of his element.
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be in your element

to feel happy and relaxed because you are doing something that you like doing and are good at You should have seen her when they asked her to sing, she was in her element.
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be out of your element

to feel unhappy or strange because you are in a situation that you are not familiar with He felt out of his element at such a formal occasion.
See also: element, of, out

brave the elements

Go out in stormy weather, as in We've just about run out of food; I'll brave the elements and walk to the store. The use of elements for atmospheric agencies dates from the early 16th century but is rare today except in this expression, which is often used hyperbolically.
See also: brave, element

in one's element

In an environment naturally suited to or associated with one; doing what one enjoys. For example, He's in his element when he's doing woodworking. This term alludes to one's natural abode, as does the antonym, out of one's element (used by Daniel Defoe in Robinson Crusoe, 1719: "When they came to make boards ... they were quite out of their element"). [Late 1500s] Also see in one's glory.
See also: element

out of one's element

see under in one's element.
See also: element, of, out