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
References in classic literature ?
David is all for fun, but none may plumb the depths of Porthos.
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.
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.
Ferry believes Burley has been forced to plumb the depths of the SPL to make up the numbers.
The team will also travel across the world to the Southern Ocean, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, California's Sea of Cortez, and the Mediterranean to plumb the depths.
I simply cannot plumb the depths of the mind that thought there might have been.
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.
Now we're seeing a natural adjustment as sellers plumb the depths and are forced to drop asking prices again.
While it is entirely appropriate for the ELCA to issue supplemental materials and even to work toward a replacement for the LBW, most congregations have not yet begun to plumb the depths of the green book itself.
While he struggles to plumb the depths of his shallowness, nefarious forces are out to commandeer what little there is of Zoolander's mind.
He gradually begins to plumb the depths of black religious tradition and tap into its reservoir of strength and psychic energy as he comes to grips with a "philosophy born of struggle.