What does “over the top” mean?

Learn about the contemporary usage and idiomatic expressions of the phrase "over the top". Find out how it is used to describe something that is excessive, exaggerated, or outrageous.

Definition and Usage

“Over the top” is an idiomatic phrase that is often used in the English language to describe something that is excessive, outrageous, or extreme.

It can also refer to something that is exaggerated or demanding too much attention or effort.

The phrase is commonly abbreviated as OTT.

Contemporary Meaning

In contemporary usage, “over the top” is often used to describe something that is excessive or exaggerated.

For example, “The decorations for the party were completely over the top,” or “The actor’s performance was way over the top.” It can also be used to describe something that is outrageous or extreme, such as “The price of that luxury car is completely over the top.”

Idiomatic Expressions

“Over the top” is an idiomatic phrase that has its roots in the military.

During World War I, soldiers would climb out of the trenches and go “over the top” to attack the enemy.

Today, the phrase is used in a variety of contexts to describe something that is excessive or extreme.

Some other idiomatic expressions that are similar in meaning to “over the top” include “overkill,” “too much,” and “overboard.” These expressions are often used to describe situations where something is taken too far or becomes too extreme.

Are “Over My Dead Body” and “Over the Top” Similar Expressions?

“Over my dead body” and “over the top” are not similar expressions.

The meaning of “over my dead body” is to strongly oppose something, while “over the top” means excessive or exaggerated.

They convey different sentiments and are used in different contexts.

Synonyms

  • Excessive
  • Outrageous
  • Extreme

Overall, “over the top” is a versatile and commonly used phrase in the English language that can be used to describe a wide range of situations and behaviors.