plumb the depths

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

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 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

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
References in classic literature ?
David is all for fun, but none may plumb the depths of Porthos.
The Spanish outfit parted company with boss Javi Calleja this week as the Yellow Submarine plumb the depths of 17th place in La Liga, replacing him with Luis Garcia Plaza until the end of the season.
A Palestinian-Egyptian poet whose readings have drawn crowds by the thousands and filled the screens of Tahrir Square amid the aftershocks of revolution, Tamim Al-Barghouti draws on fable and Arabic literary tradition to plumb the depths of loss and yearning in the Arab world.
He does not address every current interest nor plumb the depths of the ones he does, he says, because his goal is to give students some background and foundation so they will be better prepared if and when the issues surface.
Most of the time, the laureate has come up with an extensive body of work, lengthy novels that insightfully plumb the depths and heights of the human condition.
We mentioned before about Guadalupe Plata, the Spanish rockers who plumb the depths of the Mississippi Delta and fuse it with their own Hispanic roots, but better safe than sorry - you wouldn't want to miss out.
"But John West continues to plumb the depths of irresponsibility - flooding our shelves with cheap tuna which comes at a huge cost - the indiscriminate killing of marine life.
A CHARITY is appealing for volunteers to scale the heights and plumb the depths - all in a good cause.
SOME people go back to school to climb the ladder, but Robson Green is hoping it will help him plumb the depths.
To apprehend The Beast, Wolf will be called upon to face his own private demons, and plumb the depths of the mysterious darkness surrounding his own personal history.
Deftly written and stunningly illustrated by Kim Dreyer, "Conscious Spirit" (9781572817241, $16.00) features a 44 impressively imaged card collection and 44 page 'user friendly' booklet that will enable the user to plumb the depths of their consciousness.
Dubai A team of expert divers from around the world is preparing for an historic deep-water dive to plumb the depths of Musandam in search of three shipwrecks.
I simply cannot plumb the depths of the mind that thought there might have been.
A repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM." Thus Tyson's twelve new paintings, which purport to plumb the depths of "the imagination and the unconscious," were brought under the Romantic sign of the lines' author, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Written by Marquette University ethicist Daniel Maguire, this inaugural volume in Fortress Press' 'Sacred Energies' series seeks to plumb the depths of diverse religious traditions for solutions to global problems: population growth, environmental depletion, the rights of women and minorities, the place of economics and work, and sexuality, to name a few.