in a lather

Also, in a state. Agitated and anxious, as in Don't get yourself in a lather over this, or She was in a state over the flight cancellation. The first term alludes to the frothy sweat of a horse, the second to an upset state of mind. [Early 1800s] For a synonym, see in a stew.


Nearby words

  1. in a fog,
  2. in a good light,
  3. in a hole,
  4. in a huff,
  5. in a jam,
  6. in a manner of speaking,
  7. in a nutshell,
  8. in a pig's eye,
  9. in a pinch,
  10. in a rut

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.