Out of one’s league

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  1. Out of one’s league is an idiom which most probably began in the United States. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrase out of one’s league, where it most probably came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Out of one’s league describes a situation in which one is attempting to join forces with or compete with people who are smarter, better looking or more qualified than oneself. Usually, the term out of one’s league is applied to trying to date a person who is more accomplished, better looking or has more money than oneself. Out of one’s league is also often used to describe a situation in which one can not come up to the standards of an elite job or can not afford to buy something expensive. The term out of one’s league is an American term that is most probably related to the sport of baseball, which is divided into leagues that are related to different levels of ability and professionalism. An early rendering of the phrase is batting out of one’s league, which clearly relates to baseball.


“I have to confess because of my age and fitness I always thought it was something that would be well out of my league,” he said. (The Weekly Times)

“Most of my education was financed through student loans, and at times I felt out of my league attending a school where many students had their education paid for and jobs waiting on them.” (The Cherokee Phoenix)

On paper, the movie sounds like yet another entry in the tired romantic comedy subgenre of “schlubby sad sack gets his heart broken, winds up with another girl who’s way out of his league.” (USA Today)