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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. outside the boundaries of the playing area. (*Typically: be ~; get ~; go ~.) The ball went out-of-bounds just at the end of the game. The whistle blew when Juan went out-of-bounds.
2. and *off-limits Fig. forbidden. (*Typically: be ~.) This area is off-limits. You can't go in there. Don't go there. It's out-of-bounds. That kind of behavior is off-limits. Stop it!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.