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beyond one's means

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Too costly for one, more than one can afford. For example, A second vacation this year is well beyond our means. The noun means here signifies “resources at one's disposal,” a usage current since Shakespeare's time, as in Measure for Measure (2:2): “Let her have needful, but not lavish means.” [Late 1800s]

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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.

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