league

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Related to leagues: Big Leagues

big leagues

An area, echelon, or sphere of great competition, success, power, achievement, etc. Refers to major (i.e., "big") leagues of sports teams. I know you're new here, but you need to perform much better than that. You're in the big leagues now. Welcome to the big leagues, senator.
See also: big, league

in a league of (one's)/its own

Completely superior to others of one's or its kind. As a lawyer, Janice is truly in a league of her own. The reigning Super Bowl champions continue to play as if they're in a league of their own. The newest car from Ferrari is in a league of its own.
See also: league, of

major league(s)

An area, echelon, or sphere of great competition, success, power, achievement, etc. Refers to the major leagues of sports teams. I know you're new here, but you need to perform much better if you want to stay in this law firm. You're in the major leagues now. Welcome to the major league of politics, senator.
See also: major

in league (with someone)

Fig. [of people] secretly cooperating, often to do something bad or illegal. The county sheriff is in league with criminals. The car thieves and some crooked police are in league to make money from stolen cars.
See also: league

not in the same league with someone or something

not nearly as good as someone or something. John isn't in the same league with Bob at tennis. This house isn't in the same league with our old one.
See also: league, not, same

play in the big leagues

Fig. to be involved in something of large or important proportions. (Alludes to playing a professional sport at the highest level.) You had better shape up if you want to play in the big leagues. The conductor shouted at the oboist, "You're playing in the big leagues now. Tune up or ship out."
See also: big, league, play

in league with somebody

agreeing to do something with someone else The accountant and the chairman were in league to hide the company's debts. I believe my children are in league with the devil!
Usage notes: often said about an activity that is not completely legal or approved of
See also: league

in the same league (as somebody/something)

also in the same league (with somebody/something)
having qualities or achievements similar to someone or something else The new foundation will be giving away $55 million a year, putting it in the same league as other well-known charities. You don't often get to hear two symphony orchestras that are in the same league within a single week.
Usage notes: often used in the form not in the same league: He's made a lot of money, but his net worth is not in the same league as that computer guy's.
See also: league, same

out of your league

1. doing something you are not prepared for She was clearly out of her league, suddenly forced to finish a project she knew little about.
2. not right for you I think an expensive car is a little out of your league right now, don't you?
See also: league, of, out

bush league

  (American informal)
not done to the usual or accepted standards His article was a bush league stunt to discredit the company, and he has apologized.
See also: bush, league

the Ivy League

  (American)
a group of old and very good colleges in the north-east of the US The company thinks the best management trainees come from the Ivy League. (American)
See also: ivy, league

be out of somebody's league

to be too good or too expensive for you He was so good-looking and so popular that I felt he was out of my league.
See also: league, of, out

not in the same league

not nearly as good as something or someone else (often + as ) My four-year-old computer's just not in the same league as the latest machines with their super-fast processors.
See also: league, same

big league

An area of tough competition and high rewards; the largest or foremost of its kind. For example, Winning an Oscar put this unknown actress in the big league. The term alludes to the major (big) leagues of American baseball. [Late 1800s] Also see big time, def. 2.
See also: big, league

in league with

Also, in cahoots with. In close cooperation or in partnership with, often secretly or in a conspiracy. For example, "For anybody on the road might be a robber, or in league with robbers" (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859), or We suspect that the mayor is in cahoots with the construction industry. The first term dates from the mid-1500s. The variant, a colloquialism dating from the early 1800s, may come from the French cahute, "a small hut or cabin," and may allude to the close quarters in such a dwelling.
See also: league

in the same league

On the same level of skill, in the same class, as in As a woodworker, Bill wishes he were in the same league as Carl, who is a master carpenter. This metaphoric expression alludes to the leagues of baseball clubs, categorized as major or minor. It is often put negatively as not in the same league, as in This restaurant is not in the same league as the French café across the street. [Early 1900s]
See also: league, same

big league

1. n. a situation where competition is keen and a high level of performance is expected. (Usually plural. Referred originally to major league sports.) You’re in the big leagues now—no more penny-ante stuff.
2. and big-league mod. professional; big time. (From baseball.) When I’m a big-league star, I’ll send you free tickets.
See also: big, league

big-league

verb

play in the big leagues

in. to become involved in something of large or important proportions. The conductor shouted at the oboist, “You’re playing in the big leagues now. Tune up or ship out.”
See also: big, league, play

bush league

Anything amateurish or otherwise below professional caliber. Baseball teams have been divided into two broad categories. Major league teams, also known as the big leagues, have the most professional players who play in state-of-the-art stadiums. Then there are minor league teams, composed of players on their way up or down the baseball ladder and ballparks that range in quality from almost-major league to close-to-sandlot. The latter fields, especially those in rural areas, weren't always enclosed by fences; instead they had shrubbery around their perimeters. Hence the phrase “bush league,” where the level of play was far from major league ability. The expression quickly spread to any endeavor that was less than expertly done.
See also: bush, league

Ivy League

A preppy clothing style. Named for the athletic federation of Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale, “Ivy League” described a 1950s and '60s men's fashion: pants with no pleats and a buckle in the rear. The buckle could be used to expand or shorten the waist fit, although it was primarily for adornment. There were also British-influence narrow-brim caps that had a buckle in the back. Why “Ivy League”? The schools were considered (at least by some) to be sophisticated, elite, and thus worthy of emulation, an attitude that their students did little to disabuse.
See also: ivy, league
References in classic literature ?
The convicts were sent to Arequipa, which though the capital of this province, is two hundred leagues distant, the government there thought it a pity to punish such useful workmen, who could make all sorts of furniture; and accordingly liberated them.
In the morning I started for the saltpetre-works, a distance of fourteen leagues.
We must therefore conclude that it percolates under ground from the Cordillera, though distant many leagues.
This eddy carried me about a league on my way back again, directly towards the island, but about two leagues more to the northward than the current which carried me away at first; so that when I came near the island, I found myself open to the northern shore of it, that is to say, the other end of the island, opposite to that which I went out from.
When I had made something more than a league of way by the help of this current or eddy, I found it was spent, and served me no further.
About four o'clock in the evening, being then within a league of the island, I found the point of the rocks which occasioned this disaster stretching out, as is described before, to the southward, and casting off the current more southerly, had, of course, made another eddy to the north; and this I found very strong, but not directly setting the way my course lay, which was due west, but almost full north.
We were in a small river of this country, within a few leagues of its utmost limits northward; and by our boat we coasted north-east to the point of land which opens the great bay of Tonquin; and it was in this beating up along the shore that we discovered we were surrounded with enemies.
Have you never heard of the League of the Red-headed Men?
Well,' said he, showing me the advertisement, 'you can see for yourself that the League has a vacancy, and there is the address where you should apply for particulars.
Jabez Wilson,' said my assistant, 'and he is willing to fill a vacancy in the League.
Finally, I went to the landlord, who is an accountant living on the ground-floor, and I asked him if he could tell me what had become of the Red-headed League.
As far as you are personally concerned," remarked Holmes, "I do not see that you have any grievance against this extraordinary league.
Wilson's assistant counts for a good deal in this mystery of the Red-headed League.
I have been at some small expense over this matter, which I shall expect the bank to refund, but beyond that I am amply repaid by having had an experience which is in many ways unique, and by hearing the very remarkable narrative of the Red-headed League.
The method of the League was to alternate a book of the Old Testament with a book of the New, and one night Philip came across these words of Jesus Christ: