too (something) by half

too (something) by half

Far too something; more something than is necessary. Used in the form, "too (something) by half." Primarily heard in UK. Liam is too clever by half, winning every debate he gets into. That child is too noisy by half!
See also: by, half

too clever by half

Too contrived or arrogant in one's cleverness or intelligence, to the point of being irritating to others. Primarily heard in UK. I think every adolescent goes through a stage where they become too clever by half and begin to think of themselves as the only person who has things figured out. The phones people use these days are all too clever by half—I can barely even use them to make phone calls!
See also: by, clever, half

too clever by half

If you describe a person or their actions as too clever by half, you mean that they are too clever, in a way that you do not like or in a way that causes problems for them. His many admirers describe him as clever: his enemies as too clever by half. You had to tell the press, didn't you? Too clever by half. Note: Other adjectives are sometimes used instead of clever. He was stylish, angry, and too cool by half.
See also: by, clever, half

too clever by half

annoyingly proud of your intelligence or skill. informal
See also: by, clever, half

too — by half

used to emphasize something bad. British
1994 Independent on Sunday The idea that moving a few pot plants around a room can bring its occupant prosperity and well-being…seems too superstitious by half.
See also: by, half, something

too clever, quick, etc. by ˈhalf

(British English, informal, disapproving) much too clever, quick, etc: That boy is too charming by half — he can get you to do anything he wants.I don’t like her at all — she’s too clever by half.
See also: by, half