out of one's depth


Also, beyond one's depth. Outside one's understanding or competence, as in He was out of his depth in that advanced calculus class, or The conductor realized that playing the fugue at the right tempo was beyond their depth. This expression alludes to being in water so deep that one might sink. [c. 1600] Also see over one's head.

QUIZZES

THE OCTOBER WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ IS HERE TO HAUNT YOU

Search your capacious memory for the meaning of October’s words!
Question 1 of 9
Which Word of the Day from this month means, “an irrational dislike; loathing”?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.