below par


Also, under par. Not up to the average, normal, or desired standard. For example, I am feeling below par today, but I'm sure I'll recover by tomorrow. This term employs par in the sense of “an average amount or quality,” a usage dating from the late 1700s.

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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.