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To be beyond the bounds of imagination or belief, as in a surprising, shocking, or amazing occurrence. Well that beats all! I wasn't expecting to have you here for Christmas!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Surpass anything, especially in a strange or amazing way, as in Adam and his cousin Eve eloped-doesn't that beat all! This phrase appears to have replaced beat the Dutch. It is often used in a negative construction, as in the example. [Slang; first half of 1800s] Also see to beat the band.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To be impressive or amazing. Often used in negative conditional constructions: If that doesn't beat all!
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.