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heart sinks

(One) feels disappointed or disheartened. My heart sank when I saw that the meal I'd spent all day preparing had burned in the oven.
See also: heart, sink

sink so low

To lower one's ethical standards (or perceived standards) by behaving in a malignant, self-centered, or despicable manner. In the wake of these vicious attacks, it's horrible to think that our fellow citizens could sink so low in the name of patriotism. I knew John wasn't the most philanthropic guy around, but I never expected him to sink so low.
See also: low, sink

sink (one's) differences

Of multiple people or groups of people, to forget about or put aside the things that one argues about, disagrees with, or dislikes about the other side, usually in order to achieve a common goal. It's really remarkable to see the two factions sink their differences in the name of reclaiming their country as a sovereign state. We'll need to sink our differences if we hope to establish peace in the region.
See also: difference, sink

(one's) heart sinks into (one's) boots

One becomes suddenly disappointed, disheartened, or despondent due to an undesirable outcome or turn of events. His heart sank into his boots when he realized that she wasn't going to accept his marriage proposal. It's horrible having to deny people entry visas and watch their hearts sink into their boots, but it's just a part of the job.
See also: boot, heart, sink

sink in

1. To penetrate, absorb, or soak in (to something). It takes a few hours for the mixture to sink in. If the water sinks in, it could cause your floorboards to warp or even rot.
2. By extension, to become understood; to make a lasting impression or memory. The gravity of what happened in this field 200 years ago didn't sink in until we saw actors recreating the war as it would have been fought. No matter how many times I go over it, this equation just isn't sinking in.
See also: sink

sink into

1. To penetrate, absorb, or soak into something. If the water sinks into the floorboards, it could warping or even rot. It takes a few hours for the mixture to sink into the skin.
2. To enter into some passive, non-functional state. Within seconds I had sunk into a deep, dreamless sleep. After staring at the swinging watch, she sank into a hypnotic trance.
3. To force, press, or impale something into someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "sink" and "into." He sank the blade into the body of his enemy. The farmer sank the stakes of the fence into the ground with several swings of her sledgehammer.
4. To expend time, money, or other resources into someone or something as an investment, especially when those resources were or seem to have been squandered. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "sink" and "into." By the time the product was finally released onto the market, there was simply no way for the company to earn back what they had sunk into it. We sank a lot of hours into creating this program—if it doesn't work, I'm going to be very disappointed. The company sank so much money into me, between the training courses and masters degrees they paid for, that I feel guilty quitting.
See also: sink

sink through the floor

1. To wilt, wince, or cower from extreme embarrassment. When the teacher accused me of cheating on the test, I thought I would sink through the floor. I accidentally let out a very audible fart as I bent over, and I got back to my desk as soon as I could so I could sink through the floor.
2. To suffer a feeling of extreme dejection, disappointment, or sadness. Usually said of one's heart. My heart sank through the floor when I saw Joe walking hand-in-hand with Melissa. Our hearts started sinking through the floor the moment the doctor came into the waiting room with such a serious expression on her face.
See also: floor, sink, through

sink in

1. Lit. to sink, submerge, or descend into something. How long will it take the water to sink in? It might take days for the oil to sink in, so you have time to clean it up.
2. Fig. [for knowledge] to be understood. I heard what you said, but it took a while for it to sink in. I pay careful attention to everything I hear in calculus class, but it usually doesn't sink in.
See also: sink

sink something in (to) someone or something

 and sink something in 
1. Lit. to drive or push something into someone or something. The brave hero sank the wooden stake into the vampire. The hero sank in the stake.
2. Fig. to invest time or money in someone or something. (Sometimes implying that it was wasted.) You would not believe how much money I've sunk into that company! She sank in a lot of money, but it was all wasted.
See also: sink

sink in

Penetrate the mind, be absorbed, as in The news of the crash didn't sink in right away. [Late 1300s]
See also: sink

sink through the floor

Suffer extreme embarrassment, as in When she called our name on the list of those who owed dues, I sank through the floor. This hyperbolic term dates from the early 1900s.
See also: floor, sink, through

ˌsink so ˈlow


sink to something

have such low moral standards that you do something very bad: Stealing from your friends? How could you sink so low?I can’t believe that anyone would sink to such depths.
See also: low, sink

sink in

1. To seep or soak; penetrate: When the floodwaters sink in, the ground will become soft.
2. To make an impression; become felt or understood: The meaning of the poem finally sank in after I had thought about it for a while.
See also: sink

sink into

1. To pass into some condition: She sank into a deep sleep.
2. To seep or soak into something; penetrate something: The water is sinking into the ground.
3. To invest some resources in something, especially without any prospect of return: If the city continues to sink money into that new convention center, it will go broke.
See also: sink
References in periodicals archive ?
3 : to penetrate or cause to penetrate <He sank an ax into the tree.
4 : to go into or become absorbed <Water sank into the ground.
They purchased two-by-fours of untreated wood, made up standardized bundles, and sank them off the California coast.
The 26-year-old oil tanker split in two and sank off the coast of northwestern Spain last November, sparking what environmental scientists call Europe's biggest ecological disaster ever.
We had hoped to finish the manned submersible sequences in time for the proposed January airdate, but the weather conditions have been very challenging, a real reminder of why the Republic sank.
The SS Republic was a side wheel steamer that sank in 1865 while en route from New York to New Orleans after battling a hurricane for two days.
Foster says the boat began to take in water early on the Monday afternoon and sank soon afterwards, after he had tried to take action to stop it.
Eventually the boat sank, and the four also took their chances swimming, Davis said.
There are several popular theories about why the Edmund Fitzgerald sank so quickly, Farnquist says, including faulty hatch clamps and the implosion of a hatch cover.
The Karianda was up for sale when it sank in calm seas off Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, in August.
At the time, scientists were trying to decide whether the subducting ocean rock remained trapped near Earth's surface or sank all the way to the core.
Then Thousand Oaks resident Tommy Fisher sank the legendary ocean liner again for director James Cameron's box office hit ``Titanic.
Survivors from a ferry that sank in Lake Victoria on Tuesday said Wednesday that the boat was heavily overloaded with passengers and listing to one side before it capsized, taking hundreds of high school students and other travelers to their deaths inside the flooded hull.
The MTA also agreed to repave the freeway that sank near Lankershim Boulevard.
Work under Lankershim Boulevard was slowed last spring after the ground around it sank, cracking sidewalks and fueling concern it would be a repeat of the massive subsidence experienced on Hollywood Boulevard.