Definition of up to one's elbows in in US English:

up to one's elbows in

phrase

informal
  • 1With one's hands plunged in (something)

    ‘I was up to my elbows in the cheese-potato mixture’
    • ‘Foss recounts the time she walked into the back galley to find a colleague up to her elbows in a rubbish bin, rooting through passengers' trash.’
    • ‘When Dolly arrived ready for her drink I was still there, up to my elbows in steamy water, having moved only now and again to run a little more hot water in so as to keep the temperature up.’
    • ‘But for now, while you are up to your elbows in sandpits and play dough, the world around you is overwhelmingly female.’
    • ‘And there is a picture of a solo mother doing what most mothers do - standing up to their elbows in the sink and making sure their children are fed.’
    • ‘As I sat there up to my elbows in compost, she talked me through the joys of drizzling pesto and supping a nice wee Chilean white.’
    • ‘And Ewood fans will be able to grab an unusual souvenir thanks to the kind-hearted players who got up to their elbows in paint.’
    • ‘Want to be up to your elbows in grease with some hunky blokes?’
    • ‘We find the Dr. Hawking at work in the apartment's living room, wearing his lab coat and up to his elbows in what used to the apartment's fridge, now lying on its back and being converted into a homeostochastic chamber.’
    • ‘Getting up to our elbows in textures, fabrics, metals, is just as exciting to us as a palette of colors and blank canvas was to Picasso.’
    • ‘I just love the idea of all these executives up to their elbows in suds washing all the cars belonging to their staff.’
    • ‘I was also up to my elbows in acrylics - we were staying with friends who have a built in cupboard in the dining room with a rounded head: there is thus a more or less semicircular top to the thing.’
    • ‘The sight of Ella, who a day earlier could barely find the dishwasher, up to her elbows in Fairy Liquid was worth the drive alone.’
    1. 1.1 Deeply involved in (a task or undertaking).
      • ‘But we're also talking about a hometown paper with the rookie Senator from New York up to her elbows in scandal taint herself.’
      • ‘And while most of Europe is already up to their elbows in a newly released remix album, we poor North Americans are relishing an album that's already six months out of date.’
      • ‘Roseanna sounds supportive but is up to her elbows in blood.’
      • ‘They are literally up to their elbows in the science of life, and many of them have a stronger faith than most clergy.’
      • ‘Once again, I'll be up to my elbows in it tomorrow, so I won't be able to prepare a fresh Scary Story.’
      • ‘It's been a truly enjoyable break, working away like a team again, even if most of our time was spent up to our elbows in junk.’
      • ‘They're up to their elbows in work for other reporters.’
      • ‘Yesterday I spent slaving away up to my elbows in a hot Unix shell.’
      • ‘They just know the Trilateral Commission is up to their elbows in this.’
      • ‘The new head of Housing and Urban Development essentially has spent his career up to his elbows in roads, airports, housing, urban sprawl, and other aspects of public administration.’