be swimming with (someone or something)
To be filled with, covered in, or overwhelmed by a large number of people or things; to be crawling with someone or something. The whole place is swimming with security, so breaking in is going to be really tough. The business was mired in debt and swimming with bad checks from delinquent clients by the time I eventually took over. I can't remember the last time the mall was swimming with people like this.
See also: swimming
swim with (someone or something)
1. To swim alongside or in the vicinity of someone or an animal. We had the chance to swim with dolphins while we were in Hawaii. I spent the whole day swimming with my kids at the beach.
2. To swim in the same direction of some force in the water, especially a tide or current. Use longer strokes if you find yourself swimming with the current during the race. We should be swimming with the tide at that hour, so I don't expect it to be too taxing.
3. To go along or agree with the prevailing or popularly held opinion or perspective; to act or behave the same way as the majority of others. Used in the phrase "swim with the tide/current/stream." When I was in college, I used to have a lot of radical opinions and beliefs, but as I've grown older, I find myself swimming with the current more often. I'm sorry, but I simply refuse to swim along with the stream just because it's the easier option!
4. To be murdered and have one's body disposed of in a body of water. Used especially in the gangster cliché "swim with the fishes." Don't worry, boss, that no-good snitch will be swimming with the fishes before sunrise. He'll swim with the fishes if he so much as breathes a word of our operations to anyone.
5. To be involved with cunning, treacherous, or dangerous people. Used in the phrase "swim with sharks." I know you think you're a hustler, but you're swimming with sharks now—you could lose all your money against these guys. Before you start swimming with those sharks, consider this—the last guy who went into business with them wound up dead!
See also: swim
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
swimming with someone or something
Fig. engulfed with someone or something. The scene of the crime was swimming with cops and reporters. The hotel was swimming with out-of-town visitors.
See also: swimming
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.