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be in (one's) element

To be doing something that one is very comfortable with or proficient in. My mother is in her element in the kitchen and can make just about any dish.
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be out of (one's) element

To be uncomfortable in a certain situation, typically because one lacks experience or familiarity with it. She usually just orders takeout, so she's really out of her element in the kitchen. I know you're out of your element in this new school, but you'll make friends soon, and things will get better. I asked Alex to consult on this project because I'm out of my element here.
See also: element, of, out

brave the elements

To go out into and endure bad or stormy weather. Usually used hyperbolically. Thank you for braving the elements to come pick me up. I know there's a slight drizzle, but if you can brave the elements, then you may go play outside for a while.
See also: brave, element

element of surprise

A method of stealth or secrecy employed to catch someone off-guard. I'll get mom to let me stay out till midnight, but I can't ask her now, when she's expecting it—I need the element of surprise. The fish camouflages itself and disappears onto the ocean floor, relying on the element of surprise to catch its prey.
See also: element, of, surprise

in (one's) element

In the state of doing something that one is very comfortable with or proficient in. My mother is in her element in the kitchen and can make just about any dish. Look how effortlessly she skates. You can tell she's in her element.
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out of (one's) element

Uncomfortable in a certain situation because it is not the one with which one has experience, familiarity, or expertise (i.e. one's "element"). She usually just orders takeout, so she's really out of her element in the kitchen. I know you're out of your element in this new school, but you'll make friends soon, and things will get better. I asked Alex to consult on this project because I'm out of my element here.
See also: element, of, out

in one's element

Fig. in a natural or comfortable situation or environment. Sally is in her element when she's working with algebra or calculus. Bob loves to work with color and texture. When he's painting, he's in his element.
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*out of one's element

Fig. not in a natural or comfortable situation. (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) When it comes to computers, I'm out of my element. Sally's out of her element in math.
See also: element, of, out

brave the elements

Go out in stormy weather, as in We've just about run out of food; I'll brave the elements and walk to the store. The use of elements for atmospheric agencies dates from the early 16th century but is rare today except in this expression, which is often used hyperbolically.
See also: brave, element

in one's element

In an environment naturally suited to or associated with one; doing what one enjoys. For example, He's in his element when he's doing woodworking. This term alludes to one's natural abode, as does the antonym, out of one's element (used by Daniel Defoe in Robinson Crusoe, 1719: "When they came to make boards ... they were quite out of their element"). [Late 1500s] Also see in one's glory.
See also: element

out of one's element

see under in one's element.
See also: element, of, out

in your element

COMMON If you are in your element, you are doing something that you enjoy and do well. My stepmother was in her element, organizing everything. `The sale will now commence. We will proceed in steps of two hundred thousand,' declared Bunbury, who was in his element. Note: You can say that someone is out of their element when they are doing something that they do not enjoy and do not do well. He stayed in the trade eight years, but was bored by the work and felt out of his element. As I hadn't done much cooking recently I felt a bit out of my element in the kitchen. Note: Ancient and medieval philosophers believed that all substances were composed from the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. To be `in your element' is to be in your natural surroundings, like a bird in air or a fish in water.
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in (or out of) your element

in (or out of) your accustomed or preferred environment, where you feel confident and at ease, often in performing a particular activity.
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in your ˈelement

doing something that you enjoy and do well, especially with other similar people: Julie is in her element with anything mechanical. She just loves fixing things.
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out of your ˈelement

in a situation that you are not used to and that makes you feel uncomfortable: I feel out of my element talking about politics.
See also: element, of, out

brave the elements, to

To go outdoors in bad weather. To face wind and rain with courage today seems rather an overstatement, but this archaic-sounding locution was common in the nineteenth century. “Brave you storm with firm endeavor, let your vain repinings go,” wrote the poet George Cooper (1838–1927).
See also: brave

in one's element

In one’s natural or most comfortable surroundings or occupation; happily situated. The Elizabethans were much concerned with the four elements—earth, water, air, and fire—and regarded these as the proper abode of both living creatures and inanimate objects. By Shakespeare’s time the terms were used figuratively as well, so that he could write, “Down, thou climbing sorrow! Thy element’s below” (King Lear, 1.4). To be out of one’s element, like a fish out of water, was also possible. “He is as much out of his Element, as an Eel in a Sandbag,” wrote Thomas Fuller (Gnomologia, 1732).
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References in periodicals archive ?
Key Players Mentioned in the Global Membrane Elements Market Research Report:
In a search for the word with the largest number of elements the ending--ation looks promising.
In the two-dimensional case, we assume that the finite elements lie in a plane (x, y) and reference points lie in a plane
For highly tangled meshes with skinny elements, interior vertices are often highly constrained to move due to geometric constraints.
Published reports on the newly recognized elements will appear early this year, says IUPAC executive director Lynn Soby.
Of all elements discovered till date, only around half are found in a stable form in nature.
The discoverers of the elements have the privilege to name their discoveries, and this will be the first time that an element will be named in Asia.
"Powerful - yet friendly and easy to use - Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 inspire creativity and help consumers make the most of remembering and sharing these personal memories."
"Properties of plain bodies, and also forms and properties of compounds of the elements, have a periodic dependence on the numerical values of the atomic masses of the elements".
O and H are symbols (sym-bols) for elements. Why do we need symbols?
That doesn't mean science won't find a use for these brave new elements someday.
In this paper, we construct such a formula that works for any structure with the exception of exactly 2 structures, each having exactly 2 elements (for which we show that no such formula exists).
The periodic table is a systematic way to organize Earth's elements, substances that consist of atoms of only one kind.
Key statement: A tread of rubber mix provided with a tread pattern formed by a plurality of elements in relief (1) defining grooves or incisions, this tread furthermore comprising at least one inserted element (3) arranged in a groove between two neighboring elements in relief, this inserted element having a contact face (31) intended to be in contact with the roadway and offset towards the inside of the tread relative to the contact faces of the neighboring elements, this inserted element (3) having lateral faces, some of said faces being provided with a plurality of connecting reliefs (6) of rubber mix making the inserted element (3) and at least one neighboring element (1) integral.
For the past decade, most States have employed the model of Commonly Recognized [CoRe] Elements for Bridge Inspection, developed in the mid-1990s by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to define bridge elements.
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