element

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Related to elements: periodic table, List of elements, Four elements

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

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. Look how effortlessly she skates. You can tell she's in her element.
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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

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.
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out of one's element

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

in your element

COMMON If you are in your element, you are doing something that you enjoy and do well. My stepmother was in her element, organizing everything. `The sale will now commence. We will proceed in steps of two hundred thousand,' declared Bunbury, who was in his element. Note: You can say that someone is out of their element when they are doing something that they do not enjoy and do not do well. He stayed in the trade eight years, but was bored by the work and felt out of his element. As I hadn't done much cooking recently I felt a bit out of my element in the kitchen. Note: Ancient and medieval philosophers believed that all substances were composed from the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. To be `in your element' is to be in your natural surroundings, like a bird in air or a fish in water.
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in (or out of) your element

in (or out of) your accustomed or preferred environment, where you feel confident and at ease, often in performing a particular activity.
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in your ˈelement

doing something that you enjoy and do well, especially with other similar people: Julie is in her element with anything mechanical. She just loves fixing things.
See also: element

out of your ˈelement

in a situation that you are not used to and that makes you feel uncomfortable: I feel out of my element talking about politics.
See also: element, of, out
References in classic literature ?
I was equally determined to be true to the North, as well as to the best element of the white South, in what I had to say.
I had been told, while I had been in Atlanta, that while many white people were going to be present to hear me speak, simply out of curiosity, and that others who would be present would be in full sympathy with me, there was a still larger element of the audience which would consist of those who were going to be present for the purpose of hearing me make a fool of myself, or, at least, of hearing me say some foolish thing so that they could say to the officials who had invited me to speak, "I told you so
To study the laws of history we must completely change the subject of our observation, must leave aside kings, ministers, and generals, and the common, infinitesimally small elements by which the masses are moved.
According to him there are three elements involved in the thought of an object.
Then, according to Meinong, we have to distinguish three elements which are necessarily combined in constituting the one thought.
It seems to me to be derivative, and to consist largely in BELIEFS: beliefs that what constitutes the thought is connected with various other elements which together make up the object.
There is one element which SEEMS obviously in common among the different ways of being conscious, and that is, that they are all directed to OBJECTS.
A strong and noble man; so much left undeveloped in him to the last; in a kindlier element what might he not have been,--Poet, Priest, Sovereign Ruler
Nature, in return for his nobleness, had said to him, 'Live in an element of diseased sorrow.
Here is how Carlyle describes his new friend: "A fine, large- featured, dime-eyed, bronze-coloured, shaggy-headed man is Alfred; dusty, smoky, free and easy; who swims outwardly and inwardly with great composure in an articulate element as of tranquil chaos and tobacco smoke; great, now and then when he does emerge; a most restful, brotherly, whole-hearted man.
75 m, fixed glazing and K-wings; : Allowance for reed contacts and bolt 12 pcs; : Window sills 70 lm; : Elimination aluminum shell for above window elements.
Contractible leg elastic elements are provided along the transversely opposite margins in the crotch region.
and Russian team had previously discovered elements 113, 114, 115, and 116.
The mystery element is one of a handful of metals that can form a mineral, or a naturally occurring solid with a uniform structure, without combining with other elements.
Aristotle and Plato brought fame to the concept of the Four Elements.
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