Meaning of overstep the mark in English:

overstep the mark


  • Behave in an unacceptable way.

    ‘he denies that his staff overstepped the mark in lobbying’
    • ‘A democratically elected Government may only go as far in any direction as the public is willing to allow it to go, and it will take the consequences if it oversteps the mark.’
    • ‘There are house rules, like not touching the girls, and a security guard has been hired in case any motorist oversteps the mark.’
    • ‘Sometimes he does go dangerously close to overstepping the mark as happened at Grace Road last summer when he was reprimanded by the umpires and collected three points under the new disciplinary code.’
    • ‘But the practice should have its limitations; overstepping the mark may exasperate the victim and show the perpetrators in their true colours.’
    • ‘And you and your Mr Latham (I don't feel I'm overstepping the mark here) leave a lot to be desired.’
    • ‘There's been an unusual amount of back-chat between judges and politicians lately, with charges that each side is overstepping the mark.’
    • ‘So it would be nice if we could talk less about householders overstepping the mark when attacking burglars, and more about how to stop burglars being there in the first place.’
    • ‘All the staff were wonderfully helpful, and our waiter in particular joked and flirted with us, without once overstepping the mark.’
    • ‘If the Inland Revenue thinks that you are overstepping the mark, you could find yourself subject to a full-scale investigation.’
    • ‘The minister has been accused of overstepping the mark when stopping the teachers' pay prior to Christmas.’