get ahead of oneself

English edit

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Verb edit

get ahead of oneself (third-person singular simple present gets ahead of oneself, present participle getting ahead of oneself, simple past got ahead of oneself, past participle (UK) got ahead of oneself or (US) gotten ahead of oneself)

  1. (idiomatic) To focus excessively on one's plans or on prospective future events without paying adequate attention to the present.
  2. (idiomatic) To develop an opinion based on insufficient information or to take action prematurely.
    • 2006 April 28, “Media Monkey: Channel 4's crystal ball”, in The Guardian, UK, retrieved 25 July 2012:
      Channel 4 News's Samira Ahmed rather got ahead of herself when she told viewers on Saturday afternoon that Liverpool had beaten Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final-even thought it was still 90 minutes away from kick-off.
    • 2007, Cassandra Chan, Village Affairs[1], →ISBN, page 18:
      “Frankly,” he said in a moment, “I think the chief constable has got ahead of himself on this one. There's no real evidence the man was murdered.”
    • 2011, Ann Evans, Dream Baby[2], →ISBN:
      Mother sometimes got ahead of herself and didn't think things through.
  3. (idiomatic) To speak or write in a manner in which one makes points out of logical or chronological sequence.
    • 1951, Tennessee Williams, “The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and Coffin”, in John Updike, Katrina Kennison, editors, The Best American Short Stories of the Century, published 2000, →ISBN, page 316:
      She talked so excitedly that she got ahead of herself and looked bewildered and cried out, "What was I saying?"
    • 2005, Christopher B. Sanford, Matthew: Christian Rabbi[3], →ISBN, page 64:
      I think he just got ahead of himself in telling first of the arrest of John, then jumped back to the earlier baptism of Jesus.
    • 2011, Laura Schellhardt, Screenwriting for Dummies[4], →ISBN, page 151:
      People often interrupt themselves mid-sentence. Why? Perhaps they're excited over something and get ahead of themselves as they speak.

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