Definition of overstep the mark in US English:

overstep the mark


  • Behave in an unacceptable way.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And you and your Mr Latham (I don't feel I'm overstepping the mark here) leave a lot to be desired.’
    • ‘But the practice should have its limitations; overstepping the mark may exasperate the victim and show the perpetrators in their true colours.’
    • ‘There's been an unusual amount of back-chat between judges and politicians lately, with charges that each side is overstepping 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.’
    • ‘If the Inland Revenue thinks that you are overstepping the mark, you could find yourself subject to a full-scale investigation.’
    • ‘All the staff were wonderfully helpful, and our waiter in particular joked and flirted with us, without once 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The minister has been accused of overstepping the mark when stopping the teachers' pay prior to Christmas.’