sink or swim

Definition of sink or swim

  1. :  used to refer to a situation in which someone either must succeed by his or her own efforts or fail completely They left me to sink or swim on my own. In this job, it's sink or swim.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to go to the bottom :  submerge

    :  to become partly buried (as in mud)

    :  to become engulfed

  1. :  a pool or pit for the deposit of waste or sewage :  cesspool

    :  a ditch or tunnel for carrying off sewage :  sewer

    :  a stationary basin connected with a drain and usually a water supply for washing and drainage

  1. :  to propel oneself in water by natural means (such as movements of the limbs, fins, or tail)

    :  to play in the water (as at a beach or swimming pool)

    :  to move with a motion like that of swimming :  glide

  1. :  a smooth gliding motion

    :  an act or period of swimming

    :  a temporary dizziness or unconsciousness

  1. :  of, relating to, or used in or for swimming

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sink or swim? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

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