reaching the knees: knee-deep mud.
submerged or covered up to the knees: knee-deep in water.
deeply embroiled; enmeshed; involved: knee-deep in trouble.

1525–35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
adj (often foll by in)
1.  so deep as to reach or cover the knees: knee-deep mud
2.  a.  sunk or covered to the knees: knee-deep in sand
 b.  immersed; deeply involved: knee-deep in work

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
There had been two days of rain, and the communication trenches were almost knee-deep in water.
There are few gators hereabouts, and no, you won't be camping in knee-deep water.
And to me there is nothing better than a bowl of chili in a bread bowl in the lodge after a day in knee-deep snow.
Instead he was knee-deep in office supplies--copier paper, pens, envelopes.
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