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test the waters

Slang definitions & phrases for test the waters

test the waters

verb phrase

To make a preliminary assessment: I've tested the waters, and this product works/ One sign of this is the number of vice presidents who are testing the union's political waters

[1970s+; an example from 1888 may refer to such an assessment or may refer to an actual testing of well-water]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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