cross the line

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cross the line

1. Of an action, to cross some threshold into unacceptable or inappropriate behavior. Speaking that rudely to your teacher definitely crosses the line.
2. To misbehave or do something unacceptable or inappropriate. When you spoke that rudely to your teacher, you definitely crossed the line.
See also: cross, line

cross the line

COMMON
1. If someone crosses the line, they start behaving in an unacceptable or offensive way. The show's pretty outrageous, but I don't think it crosses the line. There was no reason to bring our families into it. That's crossing the line.
2. If someone or something crosses the line, they go from one situation or activity to another more extreme one. They could easily cross the line from civil disobedience to violence. Congress and the public were not informed about the decision to cross the line from defense to preparation for war. Note: The `line' in this expression may refer to boxing matches in the past, when a line was drawn on the ground which neither boxer could cross. `Draw the line' may be based on a similar idea.
See also: cross, line
References in classic literature ?
Perhaps that is the moment when he crosses the line into manhood.
He said: "When the ball crosses the line by a yard, according to my striker, it's not a magnificent save - it's a goal.
You cross the line and everyone else crosses the line and you've just got to wait for the judges to pick up the first to finish and then put it up on the board.
BLOW ME Rosie Smith battles the elements to cross the line in eighth place overall in the Pier to Pier race (left) WINDY WIN Brendan McMillan crosses the line on Roker beach to win yesterday's Pier to Pier race (right)
A fourth official could check different camera angles from the stand or micro chips in a football and goalposts could determine whether or not the ball crosses the line.
The ball will set off sensors in the goal if it crosses the line.
As soon as the first group crosses the line a stopwatch is started to time the 25 seconds rest.
Devers' head crossed first, clearly, but the rule book says a runner does not finish until his or her torso crosses the line.
His situation and the manner in which it was handled by authorities has placed this child in the center of an international debate over when childhood "playing doctor" crosses the line and becomes sexual molestation.