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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.
See also: depth, of

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.
See also: depth, of

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.
See also: depth, of, out

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.
See also: beyond, 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.
See also: depth, plumb

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.
See also: depth, sink, such

in depth

In thorough and complete detail. (Hyphenated if used before a noun.) 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.
See also: depth

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.
See also: depth, of, out

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.
See also: beyond, 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.
See also: depth, of, out

in depth

Profoundly, thoroughly, as in It will take years to cover the entire subject in depth. [Mid-1900s]
See also: depth

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.
See also: depth, of, out

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.
See also: depth, of, out

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.
See also: depth, plumb

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.
See also: depth, new, plumb

hidden depths

admirable but previously unnoticed qualities.
See also: depth, hidden

out of your depth

unable 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.
See also: depth, of, out

plumb the depths

1 reach the extremes of evil or unhappiness. 2 inquire into the most obscure or secret aspects of something.
See also: depth, plumb

ˌin ˈdepth

thoroughly: The report treats the subject of homelessness in some in-depth analysis, discussion, etc.
See also: depth

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.
See also: depth, of, out

in the depths of something

at the worst or most unpleasant stage of something: in the depths of despair, poverty, depression, the depths of winter
See also: depth, of, something

plumb the ˈdepths of something

reach 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.
See also: depth, of, plumb, something
References in classic literature ?
At every two feet which the hole gained in depth they successively withdrew the blocks.
At the expiration of the first month the well had attained the depth assigned for that lapse of time, namely, 112 feet.
No fresh occurrence thenceforward arrested the progress of the operation; and on the tenth of June, twenty days before the expiration of the period fixed by Barbicane, the well, lined throughout with its facing of stone, had attained the depth of
Unlike the historic wrist depth gauges used by the Italian Navy, which were usable to a depth of 30 metres, the innovative Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge measures depths to 120 metres, and it also memorises the greatest depth encountered in the course of the dive.
Thus, relatively large indentation forces and depths are normally applied to a reference material that either has a high modulus or exhibits significant plastic deformation, i.
This region holds the richest copper and nickel deposits known in the USSR, and the Soviets wanted to see if additional deposits lay hidden at lower depths, says Vadim I.
Some of these veins were productive to depths of up to 2,250 feet.
Under cratons, however, such zones either did not exist or lay much deeper; the mantle directly under cratons was colder and had a high seismic velocity to depths greater than 200 km.
RPA has reviewed the Verena study and concurs that there is potential for high grade shoots that may extend to depths of at least 200 metres or 300 metres below the surface, based on analogy with other Precambrian shear zone hosted gold deposits in Brazil.
When the researchers plotted the average values of chemical content versus the average depths of ridges in an area, their data fell along a remarkably clear line.
Zurowski, Executive Vice President and COO, stated that, "The increased thickness and persistence of the high grade mineralization to such substantial depths at Deposit No.
Scarfe, has shown that komatiite can be created at much higher pressures--and hence depths in the earth --than was commonly believed.
The follow-up drilling will test the deeper down-dip and down-plunge extensions of existing measured gold resources to depths greater than 1,500+ feet.
And these depths, Bollinger has recently found, appear to be distributed in an unusual pattern.
Kluane) drill and personnel with respect to daily footage, core recovery, hole depths, move time and minimal surface disturbance.