When you say you are “out of the woods,” the feeling of escape comes to mind, and it is not just you. This article will tell you all there is about this phrase and its usage. This article will help you learn and add this idiom to your vocabulary.
“Out of the woods” implies being free of danger. “Out of the woods” is a phrase used to describe someone who has been in trouble and is now safe. It can be physically or metaphorically. The phrase is also used in the negative, as in not out of the woods, to say that someone is still in danger.
It is a metaphorical phrase, a figure of speech, and the usage of the literal language is understood. This figure of speech is a metaphor with implications beyond the definition of the term. An English learner must master the turn of a sentence in a language that may use slang or other words.
The idiom “Out of the woods” originated in the United States. It has been traced back to ‘Papers of Benjamin Franklin.’ by Abigail Adams (1744-1818) in a letter dated November 13, 1800, and first attested in England in ‘Hereward the Wake’ by Charles Kingsley (1819-75).
When describing someone’s health, the phrase “out of the woods” is frequently used. The forest has been a dangerous environment for humanity since the dawn of time. It is usually dark, with hiding spots for attacking animals and humankind. A metaphor that links “out from the woods” with leaving jeopardy has been used since ancient Roman times. The term “out of the woods” only became popular in English in the late 1700s.
I will now share with you some examples where you can appreciate the phrase and its uses. There are different applications and contexts, but we’ll see more about them below.
“It’s too early to judge whether any airline is out of the woods.” anonymous.
“We won’t know if he’s out of the woods for a week or so.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- No longer in a hazard or dealing with a particular difficulty, but not wholly saved. Usually used in the negative. Farlex Dictionary of Idioms
- Out of the unknown, past a critical stage.
- No longer in a condition of apprehension or danger; no longer severe.
- If you’re out of the woods, you’ve successfully escaped danger.
- I no longer have an issue or trouble.
- We’re through the worst of the recession and are finally out of the woods now.
- The covid symptoms were severe, but Michael is finally out of the woods.
- When Martha got out of the woods, everyone calmed down.
- When you’re out of the woods, I’ll be able to give you a more accurate estimate of your future health.
- She’ll be out of the woods as soon as her temperature drops.
- Her surgery went off without a hitch, but she’s still not out of the woods.
- If sales continue to be strong, we should be out of the woods by the end of the quarter.
- But General Manager Gary Wiser told a reporter on Tuesday the North Logan business is “not out of the woods yet” when dealing with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- We won’t know if he’s out of the woods for a week or so.
- But after surgery, speaking Monday from his hospital bed at Ogden Regional Medical Center as he recuperates, he says he’s “out of the woods, maybe.”
It is very normal to expect that this expression responds to different usages.
- We drove them entirely out of the bushes and into their rifle pits after a half-hour struggle. “The War of the Rebellion and the Twenty-fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers.” by George P. Bissell
- While everyone was having a good time dealing, a Thorfinn bull burst out of the woods, roaring, and charged towards the crowd. by Jennie Hall
- A half-dozen Spaniards ran out of the woods a split second later.
- While everyone was having a good time dealing, a Thorfinn bull burst out of the woods, roaring, and charged towards the crowd.
- This idiom has been used in many aspects of history. The phrase “Out of the woods” can communicate a clear idea with grace and eloquence. After that has been said, there is no surprise if we take this and use it in a tale or song, even in poetry.
- Out of the Midwood’s Into the onset of the meadow’s darkness, Flashes my Faun, ivory-limbed, and brown-eyed!
- Out in the woods, We will be worthy sons of humanity, bred of remotest sires who bearded the satyr in his den, on freedom’s bosom.
- He heard the woodlark’s carol loud, Down crying to his love, in his dream. As if silver rain had fallen from a golden cloud, At the brilliant gate of the morning.
- He heard the woodlark’s carol loud, Down crying to his love, in his dream. As if silver rain had fallen from a golden cloud, At the brilliant gate of the morning. by George Borrow
- From her luxurious windowsill, she leaned with a tusk wand out of the west, where dusk Witch-like, with mist and scent filling the woods and hills.
These quotes are taken from some news and the past months and years. Not all are related to the physical but metaphorical way of speaking.
- Into the onset of the meadow’s darkness, Flashes my Faun, ivory-limbed and brown-eyed!
- The rich man who came out of the woods.
- We’re not out of the woods yet but in the meantime a few promising signs.
- In science
- Woods et al. 1992, the novalike and SW Sex binaries’ single-peaked line profiles (see Hellier 2000 for an alternate explanation of these line profiles), and other outflow indicators.
- Not out of the woods yet at the Tevatron, but encouraging progress in Run II has been reported.
- We include the very similar bursts detected from two AXPs, which turn out to be remarkably similar to the SGRs bursts in terms of their durations, spectra, and energy distribution.
- This is analogous again to the excellent sound from a well-built bell or a violin; a Stradivari sounds lovely because of the construction and the materials, the particular wood, out of which it has been made.
As in poetry and use the significant element of creativity, why not use an idiom like this to show it? I will share with you three examples “for out of the woods.” One of them is instrumental jazz, and the other two are more contemporary and with lyrics that I share here.
Taylor Swift | Out Of The Woods | Album 1989 | 2014
“Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
Are we in the clear yet?
In the clear yet, good”
Foals | Out Of The Woods | Holy Fire | (2013)
When I’m on my way out of the woods, it’s times like these when I’ve never felt better.
These are the occasions when I’m on my way out of the woods.
Now that I’m out of here for good, I’ll never be terrified again.
Oregon, Out Of The Woods, Album: Waterwheel (1978)
Come Out of the Woods (2017). By Jonny Blair
Examples with meanings
- Try to stay out of the woods: The phrase means “try to keep yourself out of trouble” or “Be safe.”
- What brings The federals out of the woods? What brings the federals out from hiding
- The survivors crawled out of the forests and glens since they were unable to walk: The soldiers had no excellent chance of getting out of that situation alive, but they get themself out anyway.
- The red squirrel would generally startle me awake in the morning by darting across the roof and up and down the sides of the house as if called from the woods for this purpose. In this case, the phrase is not metaphorical. It means out of the woods.
- They’d come out of the woods after dusk to “bud” the wild apple trees, and I’d start them in the open area as well. Here is another case where the phrase is not metaphorical. It means out of the woods.
Other English Idioms
Considering what we have seen throughout the article, the expression “out of the woods” is used in two ways. One is the literal part of the phrase “come out of the forest.” The other way is the metaphorical one that refers to getting out of danger. Metaphorically we can search for several synonyms. This is presented positively and negatively.
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He’s one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don’t even want to know what he calls pancakes.