English version

tread water

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtread watertread water (past tense and past participle treaded) a) DSSto stay floating upright in deep water by moving your legs as if you are riding a bicycle b) PROGRESSto make no progress in a particular situation, especially because you are waiting for something to happen All I could do was tread water until the contracts arrived. tread
Examples from the Corpus
tread waterA few persist in southern Florida, where, literally and figuratively, they appear to be treading water.All the time he thought he was gaining westward, he had been virtually treading water.In these times well financed companies can afford to tread water and pick off suitable acquisitions without pressure.He trod water and realized at once how cold he was.He treads water in heavy seas, yelling to search planes overhead.We will always remember the mobile of seagulls treading water over Edale.The album was treading water, the tour decent enough.
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