What Does Beyond Words Mean?

Beyond Words Meaning

Definition: Unable to speak, overcome by emotion.

This idiom can be used to show a variety of emotions. It expresses an extreme emotional response, such as joy, thankfulness, shock, or even anger.

 If you are beyond words, you are so overcome by emotion that you cannot speak clearly. In other words, you are past the point of being able to use words to describe your overwhelming feelings.

Origin of Beyond Words

Nobody is quite sure of the origin of beyond words, most likely because it can express so many different emotions.

Examples of Beyond Words

Thrilled beyond words Beyond words is most commonly used today to express surprise. For example, somebody might open a gift and say they are beyond words because they are so shocked by what is inside.

It can also express joy and gratitude. For example, somebody could say that they are beyond words when they see large crowds of people showing up to volunteer for a good cause.

The phrase can also express the exact opposite: anger and irritation. For example, somebody may see that their dog has made a mess in the house and shout that they are beyond words.

Meaning of beyond words Here is an example dialogue of two friends recounting a marriage proposal,

Mary: I can’t believe Todd proposed to you! That is so amazing! How did he do it?

Susan: Well, we went to this fancy restaurant. Afterwards, we walked the pier, and he got down on one knew and asked me.

Mary: How romantic! I am so happy for you two.

Susan: I sort of knew it was coming, but I was still so surprised. I was beyond words.

Here is another example, but this one illustrate beyond words to describe an angry individual.

John: After all of the work I did on that project, now you’re telling me about this?

Steve: We wanted to see how it developed.

John: You should have told me this weeks ago, and I could make made adjustments. I am just—beyond words. You should have told me to stop working on it.

More Examples

  • My favorite part is that he and Jay are sharing this opportunity. To see those two sharing that is beyond words. –The Denver Post
  • I know a lot more about government than he does, and that’s frightening beyond words. –LA Times


To be beyond words shows that you are having an extreme emotional reaction, whether that be positive or negative.