In hot water: Learn what the means through example!

What does “In hot water” mean?

"In hot water" means being in trouble or facing difficulties.

What context can I use the in?


He found himself in hot water after missing the deadline.


The company is in hot water due to a major product recall.


She got in hot water for breaking the rules

Is “In hot water” an expression, an idiom, or a proverb?

“In hot water” is a proverb. A proverb is a short saying that teaches us something important or gives us advice. Unlike an idiom, it’s easy to understand even if it uses figurative language.

How would I use “In hot water” effectively in context?

You can use "In hot water" to describe a situation where someone is in trouble or facing difficulties. It emphasizes the negative consequences or repercussions of their actions. For example, if a friend gets caught cheating on a test, you might say, 'He's really "in hot water" with the teacher now.'

  • 1School

    After plagiarizing his essay, he found himself in hot water with the professor.

  • 2Business

    The company is in hot water due to a major financial scandal.

  • 3Rules and Regulations

    She got in hot water for breaking the company's strict dress code policy.

Similar phrases to “In hot water”:

In a difficult or troublesome situation


After losing his wallet, he found himself in a pickle trying to pay for his dinner.

Facing a difficult decision or situation with no good options


She was between a rock and a hard place when deciding whether to accept the job offer with a lower salary or stay unemployed.

In a difficult or hopeless situation with no means of escape or assistance


After his car broke down in the middle of nowhere, he was up the creek without a paddle.

In a serious or grave situation with potential negative consequences


He knew he was in deep trouble when he saw the damage he had caused.

Good things to know:

Where does the phrase “In hot water” come from?

The origin of the phrase "In hot water" is unknown.

Is “In hot water” common in everyday conversation?

Yes, "In hot water" is a common idiom used in everyday conversation. People often use it to describe situations where someone is facing trouble or difficulties.

What tone does “In hot water” have?

"In hot water" conveys a tone of warning or concern. It suggests that someone is facing negative consequences or is in a difficult situation.

Can “In hot water” be used in informal and formal settings?

Yes, "In hot water" can be used in both informal and formal settings. It's a versatile expression that describes being in trouble or facing difficulties. You can use it in casual conversations with friends and family, as well as in more formal situations such as business meetings or professional correspondence.

Can it be used by itself, or is it usually part of a sentence?

It's commonly used as part of a sentence to convey its full meaning. For example, 'He found himself "in hot water" after missing the deadline.' However, in informal conversations, people might understand the phrase even if used alone, like saying 'Uh-oh, "in hot water"!' to imply being in trouble.

Synonyms & Antonyms



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