be (way) in over one's head
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British pronunciation/biː ɪn ˌəʊvə wˈɒnz hˈɛd/
American pronunciation/biː ɪn ˌoʊvɚ wˈʌnz hˈɛd/
01

to get involved with something that is too difficult for one to handle or get out of

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[be] (way|) in over {one's} head definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "be in over one's head" and when to use it?

The idiom "be in over one's head" is related to water and swimming. When someone is in over their head in a pool or body of water, it means they are in a situation that is deeper than their height, and they may struggle to keep afloat or maintain control. Figuratively, this expression is used to describe a situation where someone is facing challenges, responsibilities, or circumstances that are beyond their ability to handle or understand.

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Example
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When I became a graduate student I knew at once I was way in over my head.
Accepting the role as team leader felt overwhelming, and she wondered if she was in over her head.
Managing a large-scale construction project was a new experience, and he worried about being way in over his head.
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Meaning of "[be] (way|) in over {one's} head"
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