Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

dead in the water

dead in the water
Meaning(s)
1) completely unusable or unworkable
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • that idea is dead in the water
  • Analysis

    The expression to be dead in the water comes from the image of a ship which is unable to move due to a power or engine failure. If something is described as being dead in the water it is unable to work or has failed and is unlikely to succeed in the future.


  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. After the politician's controversial remarks, his election campaign is now dead in the water.
    2. I didn't get the results I was hoping for in my exams. My dreams of going to an Ivy League college are dead in the water.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. Now that we've lost our funding, the project is dead in the water. 
    2. The boss vetoed that idea so forget about it. It's dead in the water.
  • Further Suggestions
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