out of one's depth

Idioms & Phrases

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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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