dip a toe in the water
dip (one's) toe in the water
To tentatively begin or get involved in a new experience. Likened to gently placing one's toe into water to test its temperature. I'm terrified that people won't like my writing, but I've been dipping my toe in the water at a local writer's club to get a sense of it. I've always preferred to dive right into new experiences, rather than just dipping a toe in the water, but everyone is different, I suppose.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
dip a toe in the wateror
dip your toe in the watermainly BRITISH
If you dip a toe in the water or dip your toe in the water, you start slowly and carefully doing something that you have not done before, because you are not sure if you will like it or if it will be successful. Until now, the company has only dipped its toe in the water by using the service to test existing adverts rather than to create new ones. Note: You can use other verbs such as put or have instead of dip. His company has recently opened offices in Taiwan and Spain. `We have our toes in the water,' Mr. Creedon says. For many people, coming on a course like this is a way of putting a toe in the water. Note: You can also describe a situation where someone tries something a toe in the water. The vice-chairman said that the company's involvement would be a toe in the water. Note: You can also use toe in the water before a noun. We are taking a toe in the water approach by opening a small gallery first.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012