Enough Is Enough

Meaning of Idiom ‘Enough is Enough

Enough is enough is an emphatic way of saying “Stop!” It means whatever is happening must stop; no more will be tolerated; you should be satisfied with what you have, or with the situation or circumstances that exist. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,3Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,4Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.


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Usage

Usually used as an interjection.

Examples:

“You have to stop showing up late for work. Enough is enough!”

“If you keep gambling you are going to lose all your money. You’ve already won a lot—enough is enough.”

“All this bickering has to stop. You kids have to learn to share. Enough is enough!”

Origin

Although today this phrase is used more as a reprimand or warning, it began more as an expression of satisfaction or contentment such as in the proverb “Enough is as good as a feast.” It appeared in John Heywood’s 1546 Dialague of Proverbs. 5Speake, Jennifer. The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. Oxford University Press, 2015.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
3. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
4. Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.
5. Speake, Jennifer. The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. Oxford University Press, 2015.