over the top

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: over-the-top


Alternative forms[edit]


  • (file)


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

  1. (idiomatic) Bold; beyond normal, expected, or reasonable limits; outrageous.
    Synonyms: excessive, exaggerated, OTT, too much
    He has always had an independent style, but don't you think purple spiky hair is a bit over the top?
    • 2015 February 23, “Oscars 2015: 10 things we learned”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      You might have expected a pop star known for shows in which she has someone vomit paint on to the stage to come up with something similarly over the top for a live rendition of The Sound of Music. But Gaga chose to take the traditional route.
    • 2007 August 26, Bruce Jenkins, “The Chronicle Sports Columnist Blog”, in San Francisco Chronicle[2]:
      Myers went over the top in the clubhouse, berating a reporter who questioned Myers' terminology.
  2. (communication) Delivered across the Internet to a television or similar device.

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.



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

  1. (not comparable, from World War I) 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.
  2. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see over,‎ the,‎ top.


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