bite off more than one can chew

bite off more than one can chew

 
1. Lit. to take a larger mouthful of food than one can chew easily or comfortably. I bit off more than I could chew, and nearly choked.
2. Fig. to take (on) more than one can deal with; to be overconfident. Ann is exhausted again. She's always biting off more than she can chew.
See also: bite, can, chew, more, off, one

bite off more than one can chew

Take on more work or a bigger task than one can handle, as in With two additional jobs, Bill is clearly biting off more than he can chew. Cautions against taking on too much appear in medieval sources, although this particular metaphor, alluding to taking in more food than one can chew, dates only from about 1870.
See also: bite, can, chew, more, off, one