in deep water


in deep water

Meaning | Synonyms

  • a very serious situation
  • a time of great difficulty
  • often a situation that one is not capable of resolving on one’s own
  • in difficulty
  • in problem

Example Sentences

  1. The political party is in deep water after it was discovered that their candidate had lied in the report.
  2. If you don’t bring back my dad’s car in one piece I will be in deep water.
  3. After my husband lost his job we were in deep water.
  4. I am in deep water at work. I do not know how I am going to finish the proposal in time.
  5. Our company is in deep water. We have overextended out loan and we are unable to pay the bank.
  6. I am in deep water with my sister. I promised that I would be able to find a venue for her wedding but everything is booked.
  7. I’m going to be in deep water if my boss refuses to approve the project done by me after the hard work of a week.


The origin of this phrase dates back to Biblical times. It is a Biblical metaphor. In Psalm 69: 14 it says:

Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.

In this case the water is not seen as a physical entity but as something that holding you back or endangering you. This is how the phrase is still used today.

Share your opinions4 Opinions

We are highly thankful of Mr. Mark for providing the origin of the idiom.

‒ The Idioms Team December 22, 2017

Deep water is mentioned as far back as B.C. times. One version I think of comes from a Biblical context. Proverbs 20:5 which states the heart of man is like “deep water” but a man of understanding will draw it out. —
Here’s one interpretation “Though the designs and intentions of another man, especially one who hath a deep understanding, are as hard to be found out as waters which lie in the secret caverns of the earth; yet there are persons of such penetration, that they will find means to discover them and draw them out. There are six ways “whereby the knowledge of men may be drawn out and disclosed;” by their faces and countenances, by words, by deeds, by their nature, by their ends, and by the relations of others.
I think Deep Water in this context is the depth of a mans inner souls understanding. Though it may take another to draw it out for all to benefit from the deeper meaning.

‒ Mark December 21, 2017

We are really sorry for inconvenience dear Dawn.
We always try our best to bring our user the maximum information about every idiom. Our contributors and authors couldn’t find much about “in deep water” phrase, that’s why it looks incomplete.

The Idioms Team

‒ The Idioms January 27, 2017

The information on Google for this idiom and others I’ve seen states that you provide the origin. You do not. It is misleading and frustrating as I’m trying to give information for my students in class. I suggest you update this so as not to provide misinformation.

‒ Dawn January 22, 2017

What's on your mind?