too clever by half

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of too clever by half

chiefly British, informal
: clever in a way that is annoying or that causes problems
  • an arrogant politician who is too clever by half
  • a complex computer program that is too clever by half

Word by Word Definitions

too play
  1. : besides, also

  2. : to an excessive degree : excessively

  3. : to such a degree as to be regrettable

clever play
  1. : skillful or adroit in using the hands or body : nimble

  2. : mentally quick and resourceful

  3. : marked by wit or ingenuity

half play
  1. : either of two equal parts that compose something

  2. : half an hour

  3. : one of a pair: such as

  1. : being one of two equal parts

  2. : that is approximately equal to either of two equal parts that compose something : amounting to approximately half

  3. : falling short of the full or complete thing : partial

  1. : in an equal part or degree

  2. : not completely : partially

  3. : by any means : at all


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