Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

(let it) sink in

sink inlet something sink in
Meaning(s)
1) become completely known, felt, or understood
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • let the good/bad news sink in
  • Analysis
    In a literal sense, if something was to 'sink in' to something, like water, it would be slowly absorbed by it. Figuratively, therefore, this expression relates to information or knowledge of some kind being absorbed or dealt with by a person over a period of time that can range from seconds to years, depending on how long it takes the brain to fully process it. This term is common in both a social and professional context, and is similar to the phrase 'get through to someone.'
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. David looked pensive in his meeting with his bank manager as the sheer scale of the financial crisis he was facing sank in.
    2. The player's new contract means that he will be earning half a million every week! Just let that sink in for a moment.
    3. Tom really struggled with the death of his wife. It was years before the full magnitude of it fully sunk in.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I keep trying to explain to Karl how the system works, but nothing seems to sink in. It just goes in one ear and out the other.
    2. I can't believe I got that promotion ahead of such intense competition. The news hasn't really sunk in yet!
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