beggar description

Idioms & Phrases

beggar description

Defy or outdo any possible description, as in The stage set was so elaborate, it beggared description. This term, alluding to the idea that words are insufficient to do something justice, was already used by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra (2:2), "For her own person It beggared all description."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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