be at sea

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be at sea

1. To literally sail on the sea in a boat or ship. A: "Is your mother at sea yet?" B: "Yes, her cruise lasts several weeks."
2. To be 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 at sea since we started.
See also: sea

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Without promises, made and kept, we are at sea. Nobody can trust anybody.