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below par

Also, under par. Not up to the average, normal, or desired standard. For example, I am feeling below par today, but I'm sure I'll recover by tomorrow. This term employs par in the sense of “an average amount or quality,” a usage dating from the late 1700s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Examples from the Web for below par
Historical Examples
  • When they are sold for more or less than their nominal value, they are said to be above or below par.

    The Government Class Book Andrew W. Young
  • How long you been keepin' Corrugated stocks from goin' below par?

    Torchy Sewell Ford
  • It is those people who are run down, and in whom the white corpuscles are 'below par,' that catch the disease.

  • The first thing that caught his eye was, "Bondavara, sixty below par."

    Black Diamonds Mr Jkai
  • In short, if the family is a bad one, one below par, then marriage between cousins or between uncle and niece should be forbidden.

    Woman William J. Robinson
  • One must be reasonably sure that the kidneys are not the subject of chronic disease and are functionally, therefore, below par.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension: Louis Marshall Warfield
  • Probably this was a slack season for the higher needlework, and the getting up of fine linen was below par.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • On the Marañon it is below par; Peruvian gold should therefore be bought at Guayaquil for that part of the route.

  • Is it wise to commence the effort, confined to our weakest securities, now below par?

  • "I'm afraid I'm below par on my mince pies," she confessed with a mockery of humiliation.

    The Tyranny of Weakness Charles Neville Buck

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