troubled waters

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - troubled waters

"troubled waters"

1) an unsettled situation

2) emotionally difficult times


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - troubled waters

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Looks like we have some trouble on the factory floor. The non-union and unionized employees are getting ready to have a major confrontation.

Colleague 2: Then we had better go out there and pour some oil on the troubled waters.

Colleague 1: And do what?

Colleague 2: Provide a voice of reason. Use our negotiating skills to defuse the situation.

Colleague 1: I see. Calm things down.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - troubled waters

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Your wife does not look happy.

Friend 2: We have just had yet another fight in a long series of fights.

Friend 1: Troubled waters in your marriage?

Friend 2: Yes. I am so sad, disappointed and, to be honest, fearful about where this will all lead.

Friend 1: You think the end is near?

Friend 2: Looks like it could be.

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troubled waters - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   337   click for frequency by country

troubled waters - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for troubled waters.

troubled waters - Examples:

1)  ... and, for the sake of obtaining a little temporary notoriety, plunge into the troubled waters of party politics.

2)  ... a guide, we're there to provide direction, helping the client navigate the troubled waters of digital transformation and giving them some idea of what to ...

3)  It's more work to try and negotiate these troubled waters he seems to be in at the moment.

4)  ... firm and unwavering, rock which frequently is the still quiet voice that calms troubled waters

5)  Maybe you need help smoothing over the troubled waters of your relationship. Or you need to finally tell your significant other that it is over.

6)  Everything disintegrated very very quickly. And the Belgians poured oil on the troubled waters by parachuting more soldiers in.

7)  ... sucked into the conflict. Al Shabaab, who will not hesitate to fish in troubled waters, may also join the fray.

8)  Yet one day they, or one of the other disputed island groups in the troubled waters off China, could precipitate a breakdown of global peace.

9)  His presence and advice, like oil upon troubled waters, have composed the contending waves of faction.

10)  But taking part in this communal ritual gave me the spiritual tools to navigate my troubled waters.

11)  They are a life line in troubled waters, and hope in the darkest of storms. Please consider donating, ...

12)  ... to the situation to rest and brought us back into healthy communication, absent underlying troubled waters that would otherwise have toxically affected our subsequent interactions. 

13)  Moving into deeply troubled waters under a dysfunctional government can only end in tears. 

14)  This son or daughter appears as a dreamer, drifting above the troubled waters that bother other people.

15)  The other side of the coin is solidarity. If one family member gets into troubled waters the others are called upon to offer a helping hand.

16)  Yes, there will be mischief-mongers in both communities who will look to fish in troubled waters.

17)  ... in such acts of creating divisions among people for the sole aim of fishing in troubled waters

18)  Often, the marriage is in troubled waters for other reasons, which are not being resolved through healthy communication.

19)  Let's see if we can pour oil on troubled waters by sitting down and having a quiet talk about it. 

20)  Time was ripe for leaders of all hues to parachute in and start fishing in troubled waters by offering their own' explosive' version of events that suited their political agendas.