out of bounds


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out of bounds

1. In sports, outside of an established boundary within which normal play is allowed. The referee determined that the wide receiver was out of bounds when he caught the ball.
2. Outside of permissible exploration or traversal. As kids, we were always told that the quarry at the edge of town was out of bounds.
3. Not open to discussion, commentary, or criticism. The interviewer wanted to ask about the author's family, but was told beforehand that it was out of bounds.
4. Contrary to or in violation of acceptable rules, conventions, or standards. I thought Tom's comments were totally out of bounds for a dinner discussion, but I didn't feel it was my place to chide him. What she did was definitely out of bounds, but she apologized to me the next day.
See also: bound, of, out

out of bounds

Beyond established limits, breaking the rules, unreasonable. For example, Calling the teacher a liar-that's out of bounds. This expression alludes to the boundaries of the playing area in numerous sports and to the rules applying to them. Its figurative use dates from the 1940s. [Early 1800s] Also see within bounds.
See also: bound, of, out

out of bounds

COMMON
1. If a place is out of bounds, you are not allowed to go there. The area has been out of bounds to foreigners for more than a month. I'll make it clear that the kitchen is out of bounds. Note: You can use out-of-bounds before a noun. Avoid signposted out-of-bounds areas.
2. If a subject is out of bounds, you are not allowed to discuss it. The private lives of public figures should be out of bounds to the press and public. `We'll put the subject out of bounds.' `You can't do that. You promised me when I was twelve that I could always talk to you about anything.'
See also: bound, of, out

out of ˈbounds (to/for somebody)

(especially British English) (American English usually ˌoff ˈlimits) outside the area somebody is allowed to go: The village is out of bounds to the soldiers in the camp.
See also: bound, of, out

out of ˈbounds


1 (in some sports) outside the area of play which is allowed: His shot went out of bounds.
2 (American English) not reasonable or acceptable: His demands were out of bounds.
See also: bound, of, out

out of bounds

1. Sports Outside the boundary of a playing field or court and therefore not in play or legal.
2. In such a way as to violate or exceed acceptable rules or standards, as of decency: felt the guest's behavior was out of bounds.
See also: bound, of, out