Above and Beyond

Meaning of Idiom ‘Above and Beyond’

1. More than is required or expected. When “above and beyond” is used in this sense, it is often followed by “the call of duty” meaning “above and beyond what duty requires.” 1 Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

The expression “above and beyond the call of duty” is actually a combination of “above and beyond” and the related expression “beyond the call of duty.”

2. In addition to something; more than. 2 Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. 3Manser, M. H., and I. McCaig. A Learner’s Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford University Press, 1986.

Compare to over and above.


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Usage

“My grandfather was given a medal by the president for going above and beyond the call of duty.”

“The company is very serious about protecting the environment and goes above and beyond what environmental regulations require.”

“She wanted to get a good education, above and beyond that, she wanted to be able to help other people.”

Origin

In use since the 1500’s. The related expression, beyond the call of duty (often shorted to beyond the call), has been in use only since the 1800’s. 4Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News – 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples. N.p.: Amz Digital Services, 2012.

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Sources   [ + ]

1.  Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2.  Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
3. Manser, M. H., and I. McCaig. A Learner’s Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford University Press, 1986.
4. Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News – 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples. N.p.: Amz Digital Services, 2012.