Definition of tread water in English:

tread water

1 (past treaded) Maintain an upright position in deep water by moving the feet with a walking movement and the hands with a downward circular motion.
More example sentences
  • The skipper treads water as a Navy diver waits for a line to be thrown from the Oryx helicopter.
  • Her head popped up from under the water and she laughed, treading water as he walked through the waves out to her.
  • We were treading water in a large water basin in a generator room.
1.1Fail to advance or make progress: men who are treading water in their careers
More example sentences
  • So when you see the elites floating away in their yachts while you're barely treading water, before you get angry, take a moment to feel their pain.
  • Brando trod water a lot, so I might go for Mitchum.
  • With a 10th win in 11 league games assured, the Old Trafford aristocrats trod water slightly after the interval.
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