follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

troubled waters

noun, (used with a plural verb)
1.
a confused or chaotic state of affairs:
The situation was terrible, but like many politicians he was attracted by troubled waters.
Origin of troubled waters
1575-1585
1575-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for troubled waters
Historical Examples
  • But he asks that the last act pour the oil of peace, of beauty and of philosophic vision upon the troubled waters of life.

    How to See a Play Richard Burton
  • In this trouble the peaceful Sarah would act as oil on troubled waters.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • Esther poured oil on the troubled waters; and Mrs. Murphy became so mollified she pressed Kenneth to stay to supper.

    The Angel of the Gila: Cora Marsland
  • The Swede is adept at the gentle pastime of fishing in troubled waters.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • He saw that his was not a fit state of mind to be in if he intended to steer safely through the troubled waters ahead of him.

    The Crime Club William Holt-White
  • The wind was rising, and there was a clammy mist on the gray, troubled waters.

    The Cryptogram William Murray Graydon
  • Her bosom heaved, her hands were clenched, and her gray eyes flashed like troubled waters in the sunlight.

    The Puppet Crown Harold MacGrath
  • The caress, the loving words, acted like oil on the troubled waters.

    Ramona Helen Hunt Jackson
  • She could detect no light on the face of the troubled waters.

  • "Let me throw oil on the troubled waters," he said, smoothly.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for troubled waters

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for troubled

11
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for troubled waters