all at sea

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all at sea

Puzzled, perplexed, or completely confused (about a subject or some task at hand). I tried to do well in this class, but I've been all at sea since we started. I'm all at sea in this new job of mine. I've never been responsible for these kind of contracts before. Bill is all at sea because of this calculus problem. Can you help him?
See also: all, sea
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

all at sea


at sea

COMMON If someone is all at sea or is at sea, they are very confused by a situation and do not understand it. While he may be all at sea on the economy, his changes have brought the West real and lasting political benefits. This was a massive success for a party that, two years previously, was all at sea. Note: The reference here is to a ship or a boat that has got lost.
See also: all, sea
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

all, completely, etc. at ˈsea

confused; not organized: We’re still completely at sea trying to understand the new regulations.
See also: sea
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

at sea, to be/all

To be bewildered, to have lost one’s way. Presumably it reflects the idea of literally having lost one’s bearings while at sea. It was so used by Dickens and other nineteenth-century writers.
See also: all, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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