Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sink or swim”

See all translations

sink or swim

If you are left to sink or swim, you are given no help so that you succeed or fail completely by your own efforts: My employer gave me no help when I started my new job - I was just left to sink or swim.
Translations of “sink or swim”
in Chinese (Traditional) 自己去闖,成敗全憑自己…
in Chinese (Simplified) 自己去闯,成败全凭自己…
(Definition of sink or swim from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sink or swim” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

make believe

believing or imagining things that appear to be attractive or exciting, but are not real

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More