hot water


      • trouble or difficulty
        To be in trouble or facing a difficult situation

      • anger or trouble
        To be in a state of anger or trouble

    Examples of hot water

    • The CEO got into hot water for embezzling company funds.

      This idiom is used when a person gets into trouble or risks facing negative consequences. The CEO's actions led him into a difficult situation that could potentially harm him or his company. Getting into hot water can also imply that the situation may become more intense and escalating if appropriate actions are not taken.

    • My little sister spilled hot chocolate all over herself and our couch, which immediately put us in hot water with our landlord.

      Here, the phrase is used to indicate that an unintentional mishap led to a problem. The spilled hot chocolate not only resulted in a mess but also ruined the landlord's furniture, causing concern for the renters' lease agreement.

    • The police officer pulled me over for speeding, putting me in hot water.

      In this example, getting into hot water is used in a literal sense to describe being caught breaking a law. The police officer's warning or potential fine for speeding can lead to unfavorable consequences.

    • The presenter had to think quick on his feet when a question caught him off guard, putting him in hot water with the audience.

      In this case, getting into hot water refers to feeling uncomfortable or uncertain in a challenging situation. The presenter's unpreparedness resulted in a tricky scenario, potentially harming his reputation among the listeners.Overall, using the idiom "hot water" helps to convey a sense of difficulty or unfavorable outcomes, communicating the potential risks associated with certain actions or events.

    • Jane got into hot water when she accidentally sent a confidential email to the wrong recipient.

      This idiom refers to a situation where someone has caused a problem or uncomfortable situation for themselves. In this case, Jane unintentionally put herself in a difficult situation by sending an email meant for one person to someone else who wasn't supposed to see it. This could potentially cause problems or negative consequences for Jane, such as revealing sensitive information or damaging her reputation.

    • The company's CEO found himself in hot water with the board of directors after a series of poor business decisions resulted in major losses.

      This usage of the idiom refers to a situation where someone is facing criticism, scrutiny, or negative consequences due to their actions. In this example, the CEO's poor decision-making and resulting losses have put him in a difficult position with the board of directors, who may take disciplinary action or seek to replace him.

    • Their relationship hit a rough patch and they've been walking on eggshells around each other ever since, trying not to say anything that will set the other off and get them into hot water.

      This idiom refers to a situation where two people are trying to avoid causing tension or conflict between themselves. By "walking on eggshells," they are being extremely cautious in their interactions, trying not to say anything that might upset the other person and potentially lead to an argument or disagreement.

    • The detective's interrogation techniques often got him into hot water with defendants and their lawyers.

      This usage of the idiom suggests that the detective's methods in questioning suspects were overly aggressive or confrontational, causing tension and potentially leading to legal issues. In some cases, defendants might accuse the detective of mistreatment or coercing a confession, which could result in a lawsuit or a negative review of the detective's conduct from the legal community.


    The idiom "hot water" is used to describe being in trouble or facing a difficult situation. It can also refer to being in a state of anger or trouble. It is often used to convey the seriousness of a situation or to warn someone of potential trouble.

    Origin of "hot water"

    The origin of the idiom "hot water" can be traced back to the 16th century, when the phrase "hot water" was used to refer to trouble or difficulty. It is believed that the association with heat and discomfort led to the use of "hot water" to describe troublesome situations. Over time, the idiom has become a common way to express being in trouble or facing difficult circumstances.

    One popular theory is that the idiom may have originated from the use of hot water in medieval times for punishment or torture. Individuals who found themselves in "hot water" may have been subjected to this form of punishment, leading to the association between hot water and trouble or difficulty. Regardless of its exact origins, the idiom "hot water" has become a widely used expression in the English language.