Definition of sink or swim in English:

sink or swim


  • Fail or succeed entirely by one's own efforts.

    ‘the bank does not leave its newcomers to sink or swim by themselves’
    ‘their businesses can sink or swim on the use of American technology’
    • ‘Self-destruction - you get to a point where you're either going to sink or swim.’
    • ‘The members of this generation will sink or swim by their own efforts.’
    • ‘It was a case of sink or swim, we were producing organic milk and the price halved.’
    • ‘It was sink or swim when we bought Lacken House and Breda qualified as a Sommelier a few years after.’
    • ‘Win or lose, sink or swim, one thing is certain we'll never give in.’
    • ‘Basically, it's the ‘freedom’ to sink or swim in unassisted isolation from one's indifferent community.’
    • ‘We'll either sink or swim, so let's hope we end the seven days still swimming.’
    • ‘Films sink or swim by the combination of actors and writers and in this case the entire production goes belly up because neither team brings out anything truly remarkable.’
    • ‘The state is optimistic that if people are faced with sink or swim, they will swim.’
    • ‘All over America, single mothers with nothing like the advantages or prospects of Jeff, Lou and Tom are being told to sink or swim, and their children along with them.’