1. Conceited and arrogant; haughty or self-important. Usually used after the verbs "be" or "get." Primarily heard in UK. Self-confidence is essential, but you have to learn not to get above yourself when things are going well. You're certainly acting above yourself these days. The rest of us have opinions worth hearing, too, you know! Thankfully, Bill hasn't gotten above himself since earning his PhD—he's still the same humble guy he's always been.
2. Above one's own concerns, desires, motivations, or agenda. Usually used after the verb "put." She's a great leader, always putting the needs of her team above herself. I'm glad they're taking a vacation, just the two of them. They always put their kids above themselves and deserve a break. In the event that the plane loses altitude, do not put your child's needs above your own—put your oxygen mask on first.
3. Into a higher social class or standing than one's own. Usually used after the verb "marry." A: "I hear that the local fishmonger's daughter is betrothed to a rich foreign lawyer!" B: "My word, she's certainly marrying above herself, isn't she?" For all the talk that social classes have been wiped away in recent years, you will still find people who believe one can't or shouldn't marry above oneself. Of course she married above herself for the money—her husband is 25 years older than her!
See also: above
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
above (doing) something
[of someone] too mature or honorable to do something. I thought you were above doing something so thoughtless.
above someone or something
to be in a position that is higher than someone or something. The plane is now directly above us.
at a higher rank than someone else; serving as someone's supervisor. Ron is above Ginney, but he treats her like an equal.
marry above oneself
Fig. to marry someone in a higher social class than oneself. They say she married above herself, but who cares? Scott thought it would not be possible to marry above himself.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
above yourselfconceited; arrogant.
1999 Frank McCourt 'Tis Many a man made his way in America by the sweat of his brow and his strong back and it's a good thing to learn your station in life and not be getting above yourself.
See also: above
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
So good as to preclude any possibility of criticism.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.