in at the deep end


in at the deep end (noun)


  1. thrown in at the deep end
  2. jump in at the deep end
  3. dive in at the deep end


  • to start a new job or activity without being prepared for it
  • to be given a challenging task without enough preparation
  • to start doing something new and challenging without assistance, guidance or preparation
  • to put in a completely new situation when one is not fully ready or prepared to do it

Example Sentences

  1. Soldiers are thrown in the deep end when they have just joined the army.
  2. She was never afraid to jump in at the deep end and start her new business alone.
  3. Harry was thrown in the deep end when he had to arrange the dinner alone.
  4. He is jumping in at the deep end, acting as strike bowler in his first match this year on the Australian pitches.
  5. The candidates will be throw in the deep end and tested if they have the skills to succeed in their chosen profession.
  6. I think it’s worth diving in at the deep end, even if you are not ready.
  7. It was a wonderful experience, and I realised that sometimes it’s great to be thrown in the deep end.
  8. He decided to dive in at the deep end by starting a new business.
  9. Just jump in at the deep end, and hope you come up to the surface smiling.


The idiom was originated from the “uneven depth” in the swimming pool, which is shallow at one side for learners and has a deeper section made for more expert swimmers. It relates to jumping (or diving) into the deep end of a swimming pool.

In the deep end of the pool, one cannot stand on the bottom, so they are forced to swim. It’s a metaphor for deal with with the unfamiliar, mainly when you are not adequately ready. “Deep water” is an idiom for a very serious or unpredictable situation, so when you jump into deep water, you don’t know what might happen or what may occur on the deep surface.

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