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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]

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

Related Words

distressed, anxious, uneasy, uptight, disturbed, troubled, perturbed, shaky, miffed, agitated, jittery, distraught, afflicted, frenzied, delirious, angry, mad, hectic, furious, frenetic