The idiomatic phrase “measure up” is a phrase that you will hear or see frequently in everyday conversation and writing. Here you will find the meaning for this phrase and discover its origin. You will also find some examples of how to this phrase properly in conversations/statements and suggestions regarding other ways you can say this phrase while still conveying the same meaning.
Measure Up Meaning
The idiomatic phrase “measure up” means not being able to live up to another’s standards or expectations that they impose upon you.
Origin of this idiomatic expression
Very little is known about the origin of the idiomatic phrase “measure up.” It is likely to have been derived from the word measure and its definition meaning an estimation of what is expected from someone. The first use of the idiom “measure up” was in 1854.
“Measure Up” Examples
Examples in Statements
A statement made by a celebrity during an interview for an entertainment magazine.
- “I was born into the limelight. This is where I have always wanted to be. It has not always been easy though and I feel I will never measure up to the talent of my mother and father.”
A statement made in the high school newspaper by a substitute player on the team.
- “I hope Nathan makes it back soon. He is one of the team’s best assets and I could never measure up to his skills on the field.”
Examples in Conversations
A conversation between a mother and her son.
- Mother: I just can’t help feeling like I have failed you.
- Son: Mom, you have never failed me and I know you never will.
- Mother: It just seems no matter how hard I try I will never measure up to the mom that I had growing up.
- Son: You are the perfect mother. You are doing just fine. Even grandma says so. Quit beating yourself up.
A conversation between a boss and a new employee.
- Boss: Everyone! This is Manny. Manny is new here and is here to replace Andrew while he taking some time off with his new baby.
- Employee 1: Welcome Manny. Happy to have you on our team, even if only temporary. You are a brave soul because it is going to take a lot of hard work to measure up to Andrew.
More useful examples:
- The party did not measure up to their expectations.
- She could never measure up to her mother’s expectations.
- She’s always comparing me to other people, and somehow I never measure up.
- We’ll give you a week’s trial in the job to see how you measure up.
- Take a look at yourself in a mirror and judge for yourself if you measure up.
- His performance doesn’t measure up.
- Later versions are of higher quality but purists are mot convinced that they measure up to the Chicago or Saint Vincent rackets.
Other Ways to Say “Measure Up”
Like the case with most idiomatic phrases, the phrase “measure up” can be said in many different ways and still convey the same meaning. Some of the ways you can say this phrase differently include:
- Make the grade
- Fill the bill
- Make the cut