lean over backward

lean over backward

To expend a lot of energy or effort to do something; to inconvenience oneself. I can't believe how ungrateful you're being, especially since we leaned over backward planning this dinner party for you! Please don't lean over backward preparing for my visit—I'm totally prepared to sleep on your floor!
See also: backward, lean, over

lean over backwards

1. Literally, to bend backwards. I'm so sore after leaning over backwards and doing all those weird stretches at yoga this morning.
2. To exert a lot of effort toward some end. This phrase is often used to express frustration when one's efforts go unrecognized. I have been leaning over backwards to make sure that you have a wonderful visit, and you don't even care! The entire staff really needs to lean over backwards while the CEO is visiting our office.
See also: backward, lean, over

lean over backwards

(to do something) Go to fall over backwards (to do something).
See also: backward, lean, over

bend/lean over backward, to

To exert oneself enormously, to go to a great deal of trouble to satisfy or please someone. Originating in the United States about 1920, this expression, with its image of straining to do a backbend, is well on its way to cliché status.
See also: bend, lean, over

lean over backward

See bend over backward.
See also: backward, lean, over