have a lot on one's plate

Idioms & Phrases

have a lot on one's plate

Also, have too much on one's plate. Have a great deal (or too much) to cope with, as in What with the new baby and the new house, they have a lot on their plate, or I can't take that on now; I've got too much on my plate already. This expression transfers a loaded or overloaded dinner plate to other activities. [First half of 1900s]

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