run rings around

Idioms & Phrases

run rings around

Also, run circles around. Be markedly superior to, as in Ethan runs rings around David in chess, or In spelling, Karen runs circles around her classmates. The first term, dating from the late 1800s, alludes to a horse running around a riding ring much faster than the others.

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