punch above one's weight

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An allusion to the sport of boxing.

Alternative forms[edit]


punch above one's weight

  1. (idiomatic) To achieve or perform at a higher level than would be expected based on one's preparation, attributes, rank, or past accomplishments.
    • 2008, David Charter, "Ireland takes a gamble on new Lisbon vote," Times Online (UK), 11 Dec. (retrieved 23 Dec. 2009):
      Ireland's current commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, is such a high-profile and outspoken figure who punches above his weight in Brussels in the important role of internal market commissioner.
    • 2011 January 29, Chris Bevan, “Torquay 0 - 1 Crawley Town”, BBC:
      Having spent more than £500,000 on players last summer, Crawley can hardly be classed as minnows but they have still punched way above their weight and this kind of performance means no-one will relish pulling them out of the hat in Sunday's draw.