Idiom:  out of one’s depth


Idiom:  out of one’s depth

  • not knowing a lot about something
  • in a situation where you are not well prepared
  • in a situation where you don't have the right qualifications or ability

Note: The literal meaning of out of one's depth describes water that's higher then a person's head (for example, if the depth of the water in a pool is deeper than the person is tall).

The idiom out of one stopped is therefore used to describe someone who is in a situation in which they are not capable of handling.

Example sentences

  • I took several yoga classes at my gym but when I went to the yoga retreat I was out of my depth.
  • My son felt so out of his depth in the fifth grade that we hired a private tutor and had him attend summer school to repeat some of his studies.
  • Don't worry. It's common to feel out of your depth after moving to a new country. 
  • Our company realized we were out of our depth with social media outreach so we've hired an expert to help us understand it and implement a strategy.
  • I've never felt more out of my depth than when trying to learn Chinese.
  • My husband and I were out of our depth playing 4.0 level tennis so we moved back to 3.5 and are winning matches again.


  • out of one's league
  • over one's head

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