beyond one's means

Idioms & Phrases

beyond one's means

Too costly for one, more than one can afford. For example, A second vacation this year is well beyond our means. The noun means here signifies "resources at one's disposal," a usage current since Shakespeare's time, as in Measure for Measure (2:2): "Let her have needful, but not lavish means." [Late 1800s]

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