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[nee-deep] /ˈniˈdip/
reaching the knees:
knee-deep mud.
submerged or covered up to the knees:
knee-deep in water.
deeply embroiled; enmeshed; involved:
knee-deep in trouble.
Origin of knee-deep
First recorded in 1525-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for knee-deep
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the cutter slipped by and left him knee-deep, looking ruefully after them.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • It had also crept into the heading, and 280 the men who worked in it were knee-deep in water.

    The Greater Power Harold Bindloss
  • There they remained, knee-deep in the water, and huddled together.

    The Settlers in Canada

    Frederick Marryat
  • At some points the water was knee-deep, at others it was chin-deep.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • Now he was knee-deep in the reeds of the north shore; now he was climbing the bank.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Even where it was not more than knee-deep, its power was manifest.

British Dictionary definitions for knee-deep


so deep as to reach or cover the knees: knee-deep mud
(postpositive) often foll by in
  1. sunk or covered to the knees: knee-deep in sand
  2. immersed; deeply involved: knee-deep in work
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for knee-deep

1530s, from knee (n.) + deep (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for knee-deep


adjective phrase

Overwhelmed; oversupplied; very much involved; UP TO one's ASS IN something: I never even tried to make money, and now I'm knee deep in the stuff (1940s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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