beggar description, to(redirected from to beggar description)
beggar (all) description
to defy description; to be unable to be described. The house was a horrible mess. The place beggared description. Our reaction to the proposal beggars description. We were deeply disturbed for days.
Defy or outdo any possible description, as in The stage set was so elaborate, it beggared description. This term, alluding to the idea that words are insufficient to do something justice, was already used by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra (2:2), "For her own person It beggared all description."
beggar description, to
Impossible to describe accurately because mere words are not enough. The phrase is Shakespeare’s, who used it in referring to Cleopatra’s beauty: “For her own person, it beggar’d all description” (Antony and Cleopatra, 2.2). It not only entered the language but was, by the late eighteenth century (according to Eric Partridge), a cliché.
See also: beggar