go over the top
go over the top
1. To move over the fortification surrounding a trench in trench warfare. If your men go over the top right now, it will be suicide! We need to wait for air cover, first.
2. To go beyond a certain limit, threshold, goal, or quota. I had only hoped to sell 10 boxes of candy, so I easily went over the top when my family members got wind of the fundraiser.
3. To engage in excessive, flamboyant, campy, or outrageous style or behavior, often purposefully so. Even by slasher movie standards, this film goes way over the top with its blood and gore. I just thought the lead actor went over the top. It kind of ruined the play for me.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
be/go ˌover the ˈtop(abbr. OTT) (informal, especially British English) (of a person) do something in a wild, excited or extreme way; (of something) be unnecessarily extreme: They went completely over the top at their wedding. I’ve never seen anything like it! ♢ His remarks were a bit over the top.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
over the top, to go
To surmount something. During World War I this term signified climbing over the parapet of front-line trenches to attack the enemy, and by extension this came to mean doing something dangerous or notable. After World War II the phrase took on the additional meaning of going above and beyond what had been originally planned, as in, “Her generous donation put us over the top; we’ve exceeded our goals.” And finally, in the later 1900s, the phrase took on yet another meaning, to go too far or beyond reasonable limits, as in, “Making the entire chorus wear flesh-colored body suits—that’s going over the top.” With all these usages one must rely on the context to figure out which sense is meant.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer