Meaning of “sink or swim” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"sink or swim" in British English

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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.

(Definition of “sink or swim” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sink or swim" in American English

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sink or swim

a situation in which you will fail if you do not make a lot of effort:

When we started the business, it was sink or swim.

(Definition of “sink or swim” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)