in a stew

Agitated, alarmed, or anxious. For example, Mary was in a stew about how her cake was going to turn out. It is also put as get in or into a stew, as in Every Saturday the minister got in a stew about Sunday's sermon. This expression transfers the mixture of meat and vegetables constituting a stew to overheated mixed emotions. [c. 1800]


Nearby words

  1. in a pinch,
  2. in a rut,
  3. in a sense,
  4. in a snit,
  5. in a state,
  6. in a tight corner,
  7. in a tizzy,
  8. in a walk,
  9. in a way,
  10. in a while

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