punch above one's weight
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (idiomatic) To achieve or perform at a higher level than would be expected based on one's preparation, attributes, rank, or past accomplishments.
2008 December 11, David Charter, “Ireland takes a gamble on new Lisbon vote”, in The Times, London, retrieved 23 December 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”, in BBC Sport, archived from the original on 14 January 2016:
- 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.