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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.
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.
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.
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.