Meaning of Idiom ‘To Fish in Troubled Waters
To fish in troubled waters means to take advantage of unfortunate circumstances, confusion, difficulties, and problems in order to benefit oneself. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
This expression can apply to widespread or general difficulties, such as war or political unrest, or to taking advantage of an individual’s trouble.
Examples Of Use
“The newly elected leader, during his entire term, was busy fishing in troubled waters. He deliberately sewed economic chaos in order to benefit from the stock market upheavals.”
“He habitually fished in troubled waters to build his real estate empire. Other people’s foreclosures were his opportunities.”
Based on the long-held notion that fish bite more when the seas are rough, this idiom was first seen in print in 1568. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
More Idioms Starting with F
- Feel Like (feel like doing something)
- Fed Up (With Something)
- For the Birds
- For the Hell of It
- Foot the Bill
More Fish Idioms
More Trouble Idioms
More Water Idioms
- Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater, don’t
- Water Under The Bridge
- Water Off a Duck’s Back, like
- Lovely Weather for Ducks
- In Hot Water (to be)
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