in the gutter

Appropriate to or from a squalid, degraded condition. For example, The language in that book belongs in the gutter. An antonym, out of the gutter, means “away from vulgarity or sordidness,” as in That joke was quite innocent; get your mind out of the gutter. This idiom uses gutter in the sense of “a conduit for filthy waste.” [Mid-1800s]


Nearby words

  1. in the first place,
  2. in the flesh,
  3. in the flush of,
  4. in the fullness of time,
  5. in the groove,
  6. in the hands of,
  7. in the heat of,
  8. in the hole,
  9. in the hope,
  10. in the hot seat

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