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An intensifier used to indicate that some quality is excessive or more than is necessary. Used in the form "too (something) by half." Primarily heard in UK. That child is too noisy by half! Liam is too clever by half, winning every debate he gets into.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Considerably, a great deal, as in He was too good a cook by half for this small restaurant. [c. a.d. 1000] Contrast by halves.
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. By a considerable extent.
2. By an excessive amount: too clever by half.
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.