The (Absolute) Limit

Meaning of Idiom ‘The (Absolute) Limit’

When something (or someone) is the limit it is extreme, very annoying or almost impossible to tolerate; the limit of what one can endure. 1Manser, Martin H. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2006.,2Manser, M. H., and I. McCaig. A Learner’s Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford University Press, 1986.

The absolute limit is a more emphatic variation of the limit, with the same meaning.

Usage

“The neighbor’s dog is the absolute limit! He barks all day and all night.”

“My boss’s wife is the limit. She seems to think she can come into the office and order us around.”

“I can’t believe you forgot our anniversary. This is the limit!”

Origin

Used since around 1900. 3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Manser, Martin H. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Wordsworth Editions Limited, 2006.
2. Manser, M. H., and I. McCaig. A Learner’s Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford University Press, 1986.
3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.