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Difference between Exposed to the elements and Out of one’s element

exposed to the elementsunsheltered from bad weather:

  • Often a huge wave crashed over the launch and half the sea washed over us as we were exposed to the elements.

out of one’s element—in an environment or situation not naturally suited to a person:

  • At first, I felt that I was out of my element because my background in science was not as broad as others.

Cf.: in one’s element— in an environment or situation natural or suited to a person:

  • He is in his element where he feels that he belongs, a small farming village.