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test the waters

This page is about the idiom test the waters


If you test the waters, you try something first before deciding whether to get involved in it.

For example

  • You should go to a couple of classes to test the waters before you decide whether to take the course.

  • Bob is very cautious about committing to anything, and always tests the waters before making a decision.

Quick Quiz

Someone who tests the waters before deciding to do something is being

a. careful

b. careless

c. carefree
a) careful b) careless c) carefree

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Common English Idioms

Contributor: Matt Errey