Definition of dead in the water in US English:

dead in the water


  • 1(of a ship) unable to move.

    • ‘We had stopped to pick him up, and while dead in the water we had six to eight speed boats fly by us on both sides at 50-60 mph.’
    • ‘Two enemy ships exploded in a rolling ball of flame, and another was left dead in the water, it's main power grid severed by the withering hail of bolts.’
    • ‘It worked, but we lost all communications systems, and we're dead in the water.’
    • ‘We had hit a vessel that I thought had been dead in the water.’
    • ‘An unforeseeable minor glitch in his water pump left him dead in the water for three days.’
    • ‘Two hundred feet below the surface the ship sat dead in the water, not moving.’
    • ‘Although the crew managed to restart the engines in the middle of the night, when rescuing ships arrived she was still dead in the water, her engine room was flooding and she was rolling heavily.’
    • ‘Communications were established and the aircraft reported the vessel dead in the water with six people on board.’
    • ‘It's the second time fire has left the 22-year-old Queen of Surrey dead in the water since it came back from a month-long refit at Deas Dock earlier this spring.’
    • ‘There was a hesitant moment then, ‘Skipper, right now we're dead in the water.’’
    1. 1.1 Unable to function effectively.
      ‘the economy is dead in the water’
      • ‘With analysts and some EU countries already saying the treaty is virtually dead in the water, the British decision is seen by many as tantamount to signing its death certificate.’
      • ‘Mr Price said: ‘This scheme is almost certainly dead in the water.’’
      • ‘If we don't put forward some options, we'll be dead in the water.’
      • ‘All the banks need a good presence in Taiwan or they will be dead in the water.’
      • ‘We know we have to keep on top of late payments, that cash is the lifeblood of our company and that if we didn't collect, we'd be dead in the water.’
      • ‘Britain's fishing industry would be dead in the water inside 12 months under ferocious new conservation rules demanded by scientists, fishermen warned yesterday.’
      • ‘The bad-debt fallout and other effects of this collapse have left the once-dynamic economy dead in the water.’
      • ‘Social Security privatization is dead in the water.’
      • ‘And 30 or 40 years later, the project is dead in the water, as he admits.’
      • ‘Software that automates the management of personal computers can make a tech-support staff considerably more efficient and, ideally, reduce the likelihood that a machine will end up dead in the water.’