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Below average; not as good as desired, required, or expected. This essay you turned in on Friday is really below par. Has something been distracting you from your studies recently? Our food was rather uninteresting, and the service was really below par. I honestly don't understand why this restaurant is so popular!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
not as good as average or normal. I feel a little below par today. I think I am getting a cold. His work is below par, and he is paid too much money.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, under par. Not up to the average, normal, or desired standard. For example, I am feeling below par today, but I'm sure I'll recover by tomorrow. This term employs par in the sense of "an average amount or quality," a usage dating from the late 1700s.
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.
1. If someone or something is below par or under par, they are not of as high a standard or level as they should be. Note: In golf, `par' is the number of strokes a good golfer is expected to take for a particular hole or for the whole course. The recession has left sales a little below par in the past two or three years. Bad teachers could face pay freezes if their work is under par. Note: You can also say that someone or something is not up to par with the same meaning. The explosion raised concerns that safety standards were not up to par. Note: You can also use below-par before a noun. The other time I saw her was on stage at a below-par Brighton concert last year.
2. If you feel below par or under par, you feel tired or slightly ill. Note: In golf, `par' is the number of strokes a good golfer is expected to take for a particular hole or for the whole course. Women who feel below par are unlikely to perform at their best. After the birth of her baby she felt generally under par. Note: You can also say that you are not up to par with the same meaning. I'm still not quite up to par after my cold.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
below (or under) par1 at a discount. 2 worse than usual, often in relation to a person's health.
As a golfing term, under par means ‘better than usual’: see par for the course below.
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