Drowning In: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 23, 2023

The idiom "drowning in" means having too much of something, usually unpleasant or overwhelming. It can also mean being very busy or stressed with many work or problems.

In short:

  • It means having too much of something bad or overwhelming.
  • It expresses a negative feeling of being unable to cope with a situation.

What Does "Drowning In" Mean?

The idiom "drowning in" means being overwhelmed by something, usually in a negative way. When someone says they are "drowning in" something, they compare their situation to being underwater and unable to breathe. They say they have too much of something causing them distress or difficulty.

Where Does "Drowning In" Come From?

The idiom "drowning in" has been used since the late 1800s to mean being overwhelmed by something. It comes from the literal meaning of drowning, which is to die or suffer from being submerged in water or another liquid. It is a common way of expressing extreme distress or danger and has been used in literature and poetry for centuries.

10 Examples of "Drowning In" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how to use this idiom in sentences:

  • The company is drowning in competition in the market.
  • She is drowning in sorrow since her husband passed away.
  • The city is drowning in traffic congestion during rush hour.
  • He is drowning in work since he took on two extra projects.
  • Holy cow! We're drowning in laundry after a weeklong vacation.
  • No mean feat. She's drowning in responsibilities as the team leader.
  • Oh, snap. She was drowning in debt after she maxed out her credit cards.
  • He is drowning in love with his new girlfriend. He can't stop talking about her.
  • The restaurant was drowning in customer complaints about the food. That's too bad.
  • They are drowning in information since they subscribed to ten different newspapers.

Examples of "Drowning In" in Pop Culture

Here are some examples of how this idiom has been used in various forms of pop culture:

  • Drowning In The Sea Of Love: This is the title of a 1971 song by Joe Simon, later covered by artists such as Aretha Franklin and Boz Scaggs. The song uses the idiom "drowning in" to mean being overwhelmed by love. Some lyrics are "I've been down one time / And I've been down two times / But now I'm drowning / Drowning in the sea of love."
  • Drowning in Money is the eighth episode of the twelfth season of Murdoch Mysteries, a Canadian crime drama series. It aired on May 11, 2019. The episode is about a wealthy couple who drowned in their pool in an apparent double suicide, but Detective William Murdoch suspects murder.
  • Drowning Mona: This is the title of a 2000 comedy film starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, and Neve Campbell. The film is about a murder mystery involving a woman named Mona who dies after her car plunges into a river. The film uses the idiom "drowning in" to mean being killed by water.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Drowning In"

Here are some synonyms and alternative ways to say this idiom:

  • Flooded by/with
  • Inundated by/with
  • Engulfed by/with/in
  • Overwhelmed by/with
  • Submerged by/with/in

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Drowning In"

Here are some frequently asked questions about this idiom:

  • What does "drowning in" mean?

The idiom "drowning in" means having too much of something, usually unpleasant or overwhelming. It can also mean being very busy or stressed with many work or problems.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "drowning in"?

The idiom "drowning in" has been used since the late 1800s to mean being overwhelmed by something. It comes from the literal meaning of drowning, which is to die or suffer from being submerged in water or another liquid. It is a common way of expressing extreme distress or danger and has been used in literature and poetry for centuries.

  • Is "drowning in" a positive or negative idiom?

The idiom "drowning in" is usually negative, implying having too much of something unpleasant or overwhelming. However, sometimes, it can be used positively to emphasize having an excess of something good or desirable.

  • What is the difference between "drowning in" and "drowning from"?

The idiom "drowning in" means having too much of something, while the phrase "drowning from" means dying or suffering from being submerged in water or another liquid. For example, "He is drowning in work" means he has too much work, while "He is drowning from water" means dying from water.

  • Can you use "drowning in" with people?

Yes, you can use "drowning in" with people, but only to mean having too many people around you or being overwhelmed by their presence or demands. For example, "She is drowning in fans since she became famous." You cannot use “drowning in” with people to mean killing or harming them with water.

  • Is the idiom "drowning in" a literal expression of being submerged in water?

No, it is a metaphorical expression and should not be taken literally. It refers to feeling overwhelmed or excessively burdened rather than being physically submerged in water.

  • What are some synonyms for "drowning in"?

Synonyms for "drowning in" include "swamped with," "buried in," "overwhelmed by," and "flooded with."

  • Can this idiom be used in professional contexts?

Yes, "drowning in" can be used in professional contexts to describe situations where individuals or organizations are overwhelmed with work, tasks, or challenges.

  • Can "drowning in" be used to describe emotional states?

Yes, "drowning in" can be used to describe emotional states. For example, someone might say, "I'm drowning in sorrow," to express extreme sadness or grief.

  • How can I avoid "drowning in" a workload or responsibilities?

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, it's important to prioritize tasks, delegate when possible, manage your time effectively, and seek support or assistance when needed. Setting realistic goals and boundaries can also help prevent "drowning in" situations.

Final Thoughts About "Drowning In"

The idiom "drowning in" is a common way of expressing a negative feeling of being unable to cope with a situation. It means having too much of something unpleasant or overwhelming.

Some basic information about the idiom:

  • It can also mean being very busy or stressed with many work or problems.
  • It comes from the literal meaning of drowning.
  • It can be used with various nouns that indicate something excessive, such as debt, problems, sorrow, etc.
  • It can sometimes be used with nouns that indicate something good or desirable but only to emphasize having an excess of it, such as money, love, compliments, etc.
  • It has some related expressions that have a similar meaning.
  • It has some synonyms and antonyms that can replace or contrast it.

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