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in the depths of (something)
In the middle of and wholly consumed by a particularly negative and/or difficult situation or emotional state. The country was in the depths of the worst economic disaster of the last century. While I was in the depths of depression, I found that I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning.
fathom the depths of (something)
To explore or penetrate the deepest, core meaning or nature of something. The movie hardly fathoms the depths of the human condition, but it's an entertaining picture nonetheless. You really have to fathom the depths of your own imagination to get the most out of reading her latest novel.
be out of (one's) depth
To be in a field or situation that exceeds one's knowledge or ability. Of course she's out of her depth with 25 employees reporting to her—she had hardly any supervisory experience before you gave her the job! I asked Alex to consult on this project because it's a bit out of my depth.
beyond (one's) depth
1. In water that is too deep for one to swim in. The lifeguard had to save the girl who had gotten beyond her depth in the pool.
2. Advanced beyond one's ability to understand or make sense of the subject matter or task at hand. The stuff they're teaching in this advanced math class is beyond my depth.
plumb the depths (of something)
To experience, understand, explore, or exhibit something in explicit detail or to an extreme degree. These valiant officers plumb the depths of heroism every day that they step foot on our streets. This new study aims to plumb the depths of the relationship between one's mood and one's appetite. I plumbed the depths of grief and despair for years after the death of my son. My hope is that I can now help others who are struggling in similar situations.
sink to such depths
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 to such depths in the name of patriotism. I knew John wasn't the most philanthropic guy around, but I never expected him to sink to such depths.
from the bottom of (one's) heart
Truly; sincerely. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has supported our project. I love him from the bottom of my heart, but that doesn't mean I'm blind to his faults.
In thorough and complete detail. Often hyphenated. We discussed the issue in depth, but we still couldn't find a suitable solution. If you want to read more, I have an in-depth review on my website.
out of (one's) depth
In a field or situation that exceeds one's knowledge or ability. Of course she's out of her depth with 25 employees reporting to her—she had hardly any supervisory experience before you gave her the job! I asked Alex to consult on this project because it's a bit out of my depth.
1. Robust or complex aspects or characteristics that are not easily noticed or readily apparent. While the film makes no apologies for its graphic, over-the-top violence, there are hidden depths to the characters and their motivations that make this much more than just some schlocky B movie. If you get to know him, you come to realize that his ironic, apathetic public demeanor is on show to hide hidden depths of anguish and insecurity.
2. A place or part of something that is hidden away and requires a lot of searching or prior knowledge. I'm hesitant to give my child access to the internet, knowing full well what horrible things lie in its hidden depths. Astronomers have discovered a new solar system in the hidden depths of space.
plumb new depths (of something)
To experience, understand, explore, or exhibit something in explicit detail or to an extreme degree. This new study aims to plumb new depths of the relationship between one's mood and one's appetite. I plumbed new depths of grief and despair after the death of my son. These valiant officers plumb new depths of heroism every day that they step foot on our streets.
from the depths of (one's) heart
Truly; sincerely. From the depths of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has supported our project. I love him from the depths of my heart, but that doesn't mean I'm blind to his faults.
beyond one's depth
1. Lit. in water that is too deep. Sally swam out from the beach until she was beyond her depth. Jane swam out to get her even though it was beyond her depth, too.
2. Fig. beyond one's understanding or capabilities. I'm beyond my depth in calculus class. Poor John was involved in a problem that was really beyond his depth.
*out of one's depth
Fig. involved in something that is beyond one's capabilities. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) You know, you are really out of your depth in this project. I am sure I am out of my depth in organic chemistry.
Profoundly, thoroughly, as in It will take years to cover the entire subject in depth. [Mid-1900s]
out of one's depth
Also, beyond one's depth. Outside one's understanding or competence, as in He was out of his depth in that advanced calculus class, or The conductor realized that playing the fugue at the right tempo was beyond their depth . This expression alludes to being in water so deep that one might sink. [c. 1600] Also see over one's head.
out of your depth
COMMON If you are out of your depth, you do not have the experience or skill to deal with the situation you are in. You may feel out of your depth on an honours degree course. The team struggled for 90 embarrassing minutes, hopelessly out of their depth. Note: This expression refers to someone who is in deep water but cannot swim very well, or cannot swim at all.
plumb the depths
1. If someone's behaviour plumbs the depths, it is extremely bad. This crime plumbs the very depths of the abyss into which it is possible for the human spirit to sink.
2. If you plumb the depths of something, you find out everything you can about it. He doesn't plumb the depths of a text in the way of his contemporaries. We can never fully plumb the depths of the unconscious.
3. If someone plumbs the depths of an unpleasant or difficult situation or emotion, they experience it to an extreme degree. They frequently plumb the depths of loneliness, humiliation and despair. Note: The above expressions relate to sailing in former times. When a ship was in shallow water one of the sailors would find out how deep the water was by dropping a piece of lead on a string, called a `plumb', over the side of the ship.
plumb new depths
If someone or something plumbs new depths, they behave even worse or are even worse than before. Critics and the public both expected him to plumb new depths of tastelessness. She will be remembered for having plumbed new depths in local government corruption.
hidden depthsadmirable but previously unnoticed qualities.
out of your depthunable to cope due to lack of ability or knowledge.
Literally, if you are out of your depth you are in water too deep to stand in.
plumb the depths1 reach the extremes of evil or unhappiness. 2 inquire into the most obscure or secret aspects of something.
ˌin ˈdepththoroughly: The report treats the subject of homelessness in some depth. ♢ an in-depth analysis, discussion, etc.
out of your ˈdepth(informal) in a situation that is too difficult for you to deal with or understand: When they start talking about economics, I’m out of my depth.
in the depths of somethingat the worst or most unpleasant stage of something: in the depths of despair, poverty, depression, etc. ♢ in the depths of winter
plumb the ˈdepths of somethingreach the lowest or most extreme point of something: When his friend was killed, he plumbed the depths of despair.Originally, this referred to finding out the depth of the sea, etc. by dropping a weight tied to a rope into the water.
plumb the depths, to
Get to the bottom of something. This term has been used literally since the first half of the 1500s for measuring the depth of a body of water, using a line weighted with a lead ball, or plumb. Its figurative use came a few decades later and has survived the death of the literal meaning, which gave way to more sophisticated means of measuring. E. W. Gregory used it in The Furniture Collector (1916): “. . . engaged in trying to plumb the depths of duplicity to which dealers can descend in faking old furniture.”
See also: plumb