Meaning of up to eleven in English:

up to eleven


  • So as to reach or surpass the maximum level; to an extreme or intense degree.

    • ‘turn the volume up to eleven’
    • ‘I like my art cranked up to eleven’
    • ‘He only really had one character - himself turned up to eleven.’
    • ‘Slip the disc into your player and turn the volume up to eleven.’
    • ‘Every plot is turned up to eleven, as it were.’
    • ‘If you played one of the past games in the series, imagine one of them cranked up to eleven.’
    • ‘It followed the existential/kickass pattern of the first movie, with each cranked up to eleven.’
    • ‘His band's amps went up to eleven.’
    • ‘The drama has been amped up to eleven.’
    • ‘This type of condescension is cranked up to eleven here - there's no room for even a hint of interpretation.’
    • ‘Turn that stereo up to eleven, close your eyes, and pray for some live dates soon.’
    • ‘Not for the faint-hearted, this wine has the flavour turned up to eleven.’


    1984 coined in the film comedy This is Spinal Tap, with reference to a rock guitarist whose amplifier's volume control goes up to eleven rather than the usual ten.