over the top

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

over the top (comparative more over the top, superlative most over the top)

  1. (idiomatic) Bold; beyond normal, expected, or reasonable limits; excessive; outrageous.
    He has always had an independent style, but don't you think purple spiky hair is a bit over the top?
    • 2007, Bruce Jenkins, "The Chronicle Sports Columnist Blog," San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Aug,
      Myers went over the top in the clubhouse, berating a reporter who questioned Myers' terminology.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Over the top occurs only following a copula as the object of a sentence, as above, whereas
  • Over-the-top is used where the adjective occurs before the word it modifies, as
    He gave an over-the-top performance.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

over the top (comparative more over the top, superlative most over the top)

  1. (from World War One) Over the parapet of a trench, especially at the start of a futile attack.
    The men were sent over the top to their certain death.

References[edit]

  • "over the top" in the Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.