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90s Slang You Should Know

troubled waters

noun, (used with a plural verb)
a confused or chaotic state of affairs:
The situation was terrible, but like many politicians he was attracted by troubled waters.
Origin of troubled waters
First recorded in 1575-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for troubled waters
Historical Examples
  • But he asks that the last act pour the oil of peace, of beauty and of philosophic vision upon the troubled waters of life.

    How to See a Play Richard Burton
  • In this trouble the peaceful Sarah would act as oil on troubled waters.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • Esther poured oil on the troubled waters; and Mrs. Murphy became so mollified she pressed Kenneth to stay to supper.

    The Angel of the Gila: Cora Marsland
  • The Swede is adept at the gentle pastime of fishing in troubled waters.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • He saw that his was not a fit state of mind to be in if he intended to steer safely through the troubled waters ahead of him.

    The Crime Club William Holt-White
  • The wind was rising, and there was a clammy mist on the gray, troubled waters.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
  • Her bosom heaved, her hands were clenched, and her gray eyes flashed like troubled waters in the sunlight.

    The Puppet Crown Harold MacGrath
  • The caress, the loving words, acted like oil on the troubled waters.

    Ramona Helen Hunt Jackson
  • She could detect no light on the face of the troubled waters.

  • "Let me throw oil on the troubled waters," he said, smoothly.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume

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