Meaning of over the top in English:

over the top


  • 1informal To an excessive or exaggerated degree.

    ‘some performances go over the top’
    • ‘The cops picked their time and went over the top, using excessive violence against us.’
    • ‘You may think that two visits to a takeaway in a week is a bit over the top, but there was good reason.’
    • ‘I guess it is just the way he wants to show how much he values me in his team, but he can be a bit over the top, can't he?’
    • ‘I think setting fire to my own clothes during rehearsals may have been a bit over the top.’
    • ‘A poster campaign warning people about the risks of food poisoning is a bit over the top.’
    • ‘Sorry, it probably all sounds a bit over the top complaining about something so insignificant.’
    • ‘He seemed a bit over the top but as the debate wore on, I thought he did a lot better.’
    • ‘I think the quotes from disgruntled users were a bit over the top.’
    • ‘I think everybody's too used to seeing over-the-top reactions from guests on game shows and talk shows.’
    • ‘That's an over-the-top reaction.’
    • ‘She is so over the top that her exuberant personality, so attractive at school, is now stifling.’
    excessive, immoderate, inordinate, extreme, over the limit, exaggerated, extravagant, overblown, overripe, too much, unreasonable, needless, disproportionate, undue, unwarranted, uncalled for, unnecessary, going too far
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  • 2historical Over the parapet of a trench and into battle.

    ‘I'll be in the trench with you chaps when you go over the top’
    • ‘Surely at the Somme and other such battles you were ordered by those in charge to go over the top to provide cannon fodder?’
    • ‘In the trenches, if he said it was time to go over the top, his men would follow him without question.’


  • Excessive or exaggerated.

    ‘failed, over-the-top attempts at humour’
    ‘his reactions had been a bit over the top’