sink or swim
A sink-or-swim situation is one in which we must save ourselves by our own means or else fail. The image is that of a person thrown into the water without a life preserver; he or she must swim or drown.
Words nearby sink or swim
How to use sink or swim in a sentence
Jones is a veteran of another beloved-yet-controversial animated series on Adult Swim, The Boondocks.‘Black Dynamite’ Presents Police Brutality: The Musical|Stereo Williams|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
As this list shows, punishments typically run to a short-ish jail sentence and/or a moderately hefty fine.
At the same time, the heaviest parts—the main fuselage, the engines and wings—sink to the bottom.
Winners are solely responsible for any and all federal, state, and local taxes and/or fees that may be incurred.
Winners will be solely responsible for any and all local, state, and federal taxes, and/or fees that may be incurred.
If it continues the same we can continue to sink 20 fathoms per month, exclusive of the time it will take to fix the lifts.
She had looked into the kitchen and saw the dishes in the sink and the gaping stove hearth, and shook her head.The Campfire Girls of Roselawn|Margaret Penrose
Such a clique of professional friends would sink a stronger man than Trevithick.
His gunners pelted the unwieldy budgerows with round shot until they began to sink.The Red Year|Louis Tracy
Baroudi now let himself sink down a little, and rested his cheek upon his hand.Bella Donna|Robert Hichens
Other Idioms and Phrases with sink or swim
Succumb or succeed, no matter what, as in Now that we've bought the farm, we'll have to make a go of it, sink or swim. This expression alludes to the former barbaric practice of throwing a suspected witch into deep water, often weighted down. In case of sinking, the victim died; in case of swimming, the victim was considered in league with the devil and therefore was executed. A related idiom, float or sink, was used by Chaucer in the late 1300s; Shakespeare had the current form in 1 Henry IV (1:3): “Or sink or swim.”