Idiom:  Up to one's eyeballs

A cartoon woman whose eyeballs are looking in different directions underneath a pile of papers with the caption "I'm up to my eyeballs in work."

Yes, that's me in the photo above.  I'm up to my eyeballs in paperwork. But that's not all. I'm also up to my eyeballs in emails to reply to, clothes to iron and bills to pay.


Idiom:  up to one's eyeballs (in/with something) / up to one's eyes

  • to have a very large amount of something to do or be very busy with something
  • to emphasize the extreme degree of some undesirable or unwanted thing

Example sentences

— We've been using our credit cards so much we're now up to our eyes in debt.

— If you don't wash your clothes again this weekend you'll be up to your eyeballs in laundry.

— I'm taking an English literature class so I'm up to my eyes in reading this semester.

— We're up to our eyeballs in back orders since our supplier had a production problem.

— I really hope we won't be up to our eyes with last minute registrations but I'm sure that will be the case again this year.

— My children were up to their eyeballs in homework this year so I'm letting them relax and do sports this summer.

— Don't make a reservation at that hotel.  I looked at their TripAdvisor review and they're up to their eyeballs in complaints. 

— I'm up to my eyeballs in papers to grade so unfortunately I can't join you this evening.

— Sally is up to her eyeballs with registration forms. Could you help her process some?

— Since we moved to our house we've been up to our eyes in repairs and yard work.

— Every hospital within 100 miles is up to its eyeballs with COVID-19 patients and people are still refusing the vaccines!


  • up to your ears | neck
  • have your hands full
  • have a lot going on
  • have several balls in the air
  • drowning in something

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