above and beyond

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More than is required. This somewhat redundant expression—above and beyond here both denote excess—often precedes the call of duty, which means exceeding what a particular job requires. Thus Putting in overtime without pay is above and beyond the call of duty. Also see over and above.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


What does above and beyond mean?

Above and beyond is used to describe actions that exceed what is required or  expected, especially those done to help or serve someone else.

The phrase is most often used as an adverb and paired with a form of the verb go. To go above and beyond is to give extra effort, especially in a way that exceeds expectations, as in John always goes above and beyond to make my birthday special. 

It’s commonly used as part of the phrase above and beyond the call of duty, meaning more than is required of one. It’s especially used in contexts in which someone has done something they are not obligated to do as part of their job, as in Spending your free time delivering the rest of the packages was above and beyond the call of duty, and we sincerely appreciate it.

Example: We present this award to three nurses who have truly gone above and beyond for their patients.

Where does above and beyond come from?

The first records of the phrase above and beyond come from the 1500s.

The use of two words that basically mean “more” emphasizes the fact that an action involved extra effort—that it was more than what was expected or more than what was required. The same type of redundancy is used in the similar phrase over and above, which means “in addition to.”

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What are some synonyms for above and beyond?

What are some words that share a root or word element with above and beyond

What are some words that often get used in discussing above and beyond?

How is above and beyond used in real life?

Above and beyond is usually used in a positive way, typically in situations involving someone who has given extra effort.



Try using above and beyond!

Is above and beyond used correctly in the following sentence?

Our employees go above and beyond to make sure you have a positive experience.