to a fault


Excessively, extremely, as in He was generous to a fault. This phrase, always qualifying an adjective, has been so used since the mid-1700s. Indeed, Oliver Goldsmith had this precise usage in The Life of Richard Nash (1762).

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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.