take on water

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take on water (third-person singular simple present takes on water, present participle taking on water, simple past took on water, past participle taken on water)

  1. (of a ship, boat, or other watercraft) To slowly fill with water, as due to a leak or being washed by high waves; to begin to sink.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) To be in an increasingly difficult or risky situation; to falter or begin to fail.