over the top


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over the top

1. Beyond a certain limit, threshold, goal, or quota. I was already thinking about buying the new car, but having a test drive in one pushed me over the top. Mrs. Patterson's generous donation has put us over the top to reach our $1 million goal!
2. Excessive or flamboyant; campy; purposefully outrageous. (Hyphenated if used before a noun.) The blood and gore is as over the top as any fan of slasher films might hope. The lead actor's over-the-top performance ruined the play for me.
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over the top

 
1. Fig. having gained more than one's goal. Our fund-raising campaign went over the top by $3,000. We didn't go over the top. We didn't even get half of what we set out to collect.
2. Fig. outrageously overdone. The comedy sketch was so over-the-top that most of the audience was embarrassed.
See also: over, top

over the top

1. Surpassing a goal or quota, as in The new salesmen are excellent; they were over the top within the first six months. [Mid-1900s]
2. Over the parapet of a military trench, as in The lieutenant sent fresh troops over the top. This usage dates from World War I.
3. Extreme, outrageous, as in This comedian's style goes over the top. [Slang; late 1900s]
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over the top

COMMON
1. If you describe something as over the top, you think that it is too extreme. At one point, which I think is a bit over the top, he talks about the collapse of civilisation. Perhaps I was a bit over the top, accusing you of being a traitor. Note: You can also say that someone goes over the top if they do something in a way that is too extreme. Maybe he went a bit over the top with some of his language. Note: You can use over-the-top before nouns. I hate the way models wear all that over-the-top make-up. Note: In informal British English, you can also say that something is OTT. This is an abbreviation of `over the top' and it is pronounced `o t t', as if you were spelling it out. Each design is very different in style. Some are subtle, some gloriously OTT. Note: During the First World War, `to go over the top' meant to climb out of the trenches and run into no-man's land in order to attack the enemy.
2. In a competition or competitive situation, if something puts you over the top, it results in you winning. Competitive schools receive applications from dozens of A-grade students. An extra skill may push a candidate over the top.
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over the top

to an excessive or exaggerated degree, in particular so as to go beyond reasonable or acceptable limits.
The phrase go over the top originated in the First World War, when it referred to troops in the trenches charging over the parapets to attack the enemy. In modern use over the top is often abbreviated to OTT .
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over the top

1. Surpassing a goal or quota.
2. Excessively expressive or dramatic.
3. Over the breastwork, as an attack in trench warfare: "a whole battalion, onto the beachhead, over the top" (Margaret Atwood).
See also: over, top