par

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not up to par

Not as good as what was expected, required, or demanded; not satisfactory or adequate. Jim, I know you've been going through a tough time since your wife passed, but these reports just aren't up to par. I used to eat there all the time, but to be honest, their food hasn't been up to par recently.
See also: not, par, up

be under par

To be below average; to be not as good as desired, required, or expected. This essay you turned in on Friday is really under par, Stevens. Has something been distracting you from your studies recently? Our food was rather uninteresting, and the service was really under par. I honestly don't understand why this restaurant is so popular! I'm a bit under par this morning, boss. I don't think I can make it in to work today!
See also: par

under par

Below average; not as good as desired, required, or expected. This essay you turned in on Friday is really under par, Stevens. Has something been distracting you from your studies recently? Our food was rather uninteresting, and the service was really under par. I honestly don't understand why this restaurant is so popular! I'm feeling a bit under par this morning, boss. I don't think I can make it in to work today!
See also: par

be par for the course

To be normal or typical (especially when it is a source of annoyance or frustration). This phrase comes from golf, in which "par" is the number of strokes that it should take a player to get the ball into a particular hole on a golf course, or the total number of strokes one should take in a round or game. Of course we're not getting raises again this year—that's just par for the course.
See also: course, par

above par

Better than average. If you need a graphic designer, I highly recommend Jeff. His work is well above par. Her performance in sales this quarter is above par, so she deserves a bonus.
See also: above, par

be below par

To be below average; to be not as good as desired, required, or expected. This essay you turned in on Friday is really below par. Has something been distracting you from your studies recently? Our food was rather uninteresting, and the service was really below par. I honestly don't understand why this restaurant is so popular!
See also: below, par

below par

Below average; not as good as desired, required, or expected. This essay you turned in on Friday is really below par. Has something been distracting you from your studies recently? Our food was rather uninteresting, and the service was really below par. I honestly don't understand why this restaurant is so popular!
See also: below, par

(someone or something) par excellence

The best, most ideal, or most exemplary type of person or thing. My father was always regarded as a gentleman par excellence in the community. Their newest device is a smartphone par excellence, seamlessly merging technological advances with everyday convenience.
See also: excellence, par

up to par

As good as what was expected, required, or demanded; satisfactory or adequate. A: "How's your dinner?" B: "It's up to par with this place's usual standard." It's nice to see that Jenny's work is up to par again lately.
See also: par, up

on a par with (someone or something)

Equal to someone or something. Gina's cupcakes are delicious—definitely on a par with any ones you'd find in a bakery.
See also: on, par

par for the course

Normal, typical, or to be expected (especially when something is a source of annoyance or frustration). An allusion to golf, in which "par" is the number of strokes that it should take a player to get the ball into a particular hole on a golf course. Of course we're not getting raises again this year—that's just par for the course at this point. Our son has been having awful tantrums lately, but he's two years old, so that's par for the course.
See also: course, par

above par

better than average or normal. His work is above par, so he should get paid better.
See also: above, par

below par

not as good as average or normal. I feel a little below par today. I think I am getting a cold. His work is below par, and he is paid too much money.
See also: below, par

on par (with someone or something)

equal to someone or something. Your effort is simply not on par with what's expected from you. These two departments are right on par in productivity.
See also: on, par

par for the course

typical; about what one could expect. (This refers to golf courses, not school courses.) So he went off and left you? Well that's about par for the course. He's no friend. I worked for days on this proposal, but it was rejected. That's par for the course around here.
See also: course, par

up to par

Fig. as good as the standard or average; up to standard. I'm just not feeling up to par today. I must be coming down with something. The manager said that the report was not up to par and gave it back to Mary to do over again.
See also: par, up

below par

Also, under par. Not up to the average, normal, or desired standard. For example, I am feeling below par today, but I'm sure I'll recover by tomorrow. This term employs par in the sense of "an average amount or quality," a usage dating from the late 1700s.
See also: below, par

on a par with

As good as, equal to, as in This violinist may be an amateur but he's on a par with professional orchestral players. The noun par has meant "that which is equal" since the mid-1600s; the idiom here was first recorded in 1832.
See also: on, par

par for the course

An average or normal amount; just what one might expect. For example, I missed three questions, but that's par for the course. This term comes from golf, where it refers to the number of strokes needed by an expert golfer to finish the entire course. Its figurative use for other kinds of expectation dates from the second half of the 1900s.
See also: course, par

up to par

Also, up to scratch or snuff or speed or the mark . Satisfactory, up to a given standard, as in She didn't feel up to par today so she stayed home, or I'm sure he'll come up to scratch when the time comes, or She's up to snuff again. Nearly all the versions of this idiom come from sports, par from golf, scratch and mark from boxing (after being knocked down a fighter had eight seconds to make his way to a mark scratched in the center of the ring), and speed from racing. However, the allusion in the variant with snuff, which dates from the early 1800s, has been lost.
See also: par, up

below par

or

under par

COMMON
1. If someone or something is below par or under par, they are not of as high a standard or level as they should be. Note: In golf, `par' is the number of strokes a good golfer is expected to take for a particular hole or for the whole course. The recession has left sales a little below par in the past two or three years. Bad teachers could face pay freezes if their work is under par. Note: You can also say that someone or something is not up to par with the same meaning. The explosion raised concerns that safety standards were not up to par. Note: You can also use below-par before a noun. The other time I saw her was on stage at a below-par Brighton concert last year.
2. If you feel below par or under par, you feel tired or slightly ill. Note: In golf, `par' is the number of strokes a good golfer is expected to take for a particular hole or for the whole course. Women who feel below par are unlikely to perform at their best. After the birth of her baby she felt generally under par. Note: You can also say that you are not up to par with the same meaning. I'm still not quite up to par after my cold.
See also: below, par

on a par with

COMMON If one person or thing is on a par with another, they are of the same standard. Note: In golf, `par' is the number of strokes a good golfer is expected to take for a particular hole or for the whole course. He fascinated her, not least because in him she sensed an intelligence almost on a par with her own. Parts of Glasgow are on a par with the worst areas of London and Liverpool for burglaries. It took courage and confidence in this girl to place herself on a par with her father, a distant figure with a terrifying reputation.
See also: on, par

par for the course

COMMON If something that happens is par for the course, it is not good but it is what you expect. Note: In golf, `par' is the number of strokes a good golfer is expected to take for a particular hole or for the whole course. There's leaves and branches all over the streets, and the power is out. But that's all par for the course in a hurricane. Long hours are par for the course in his job.
See also: course, par

above par

1 at a premium. 2 better than average.
Above par is a stock exchange idiom. In this and the following idioms, par is the Latin for ‘equal’.
See also: above, par

at par

at face value.
See also: par

below (or under) par

1 at a discount. 2 worse than usual, often in relation to a person's health.
As a golfing term, under par means ‘better than usual’: see par for the course below.
See also: below, par

on a par with

equal in importance or quality to; on an equal level with.
1998 Spectator Imagine learning that the MCC had been used for 200 years as a front for procuring under-age boys…The scandal of the Tour de France is roughly on a par with such a revelation.
See also: on, par

par for the course

what is normal or expected in any given circumstances.
In golf, par is the number of strokes that a first-class player would normally require to get round a particular course.
See also: course, par

up to par

at an expected or usual level or quality.
1989 Randall Kenan A Visitation of Spirits Why not him? Did he not look okay? Did he smell bad? Have bad breath? Were his clothes not up to par?
See also: par, up

be below/under ˈpar

less well, good, etc. than is usual or expected: I’ve been feeling rather below par recently — I think it’s time I took a break.His performance at the concert was well under par.
See also: below, par

be on a ˈpar with somebody/something

be equal to somebody/something; be at the same level as somebody/something in importance, rank, value, etc: He doesn’t think his salary is on a par with his position in the company.As actors, I would say they were on a par.
See also: on, par, somebody, something

be (about) ˌpar for the ˈcourse

(disapproving) be normal; be what you would expect to happen: ‘The food on this plane is terrible.’ ‘Well, that’s about par for the course.’
This idiom refers to the game of golf. Par is the number of times a good player should hit the ball to complete a particular hole or course.
See also: course, par

be up to/above ˈpar

of an acceptable standard, quality, etc.; better than the usual standard, quality, etc: You don’t need to worry. Your work is well above par.His driving wasn’t quite up to par and he lost the race.
See also: above, par, up

ˌpar ˈexcellence

(from French) (only used after the noun it describes) better than all the others of the same kind; a very good example of something: She turned out to be an organizer par excellence.
See also: excellence, par

par for the course

Usual; typical: Unfortunately, such short-sightedness is par for the course these days.
See also: course, par