overkill


1over·kill

verb \ˌō-vər-ˈkil\

Definition of OVERKILL

transitive verb
:  to obliterate (a target) with more nuclear force than required

First Known Use of OVERKILL

1957

2over·kill

noun \ˈō-vər-ˌkil\

: something that is much larger, greater, etc., than what is needed for a particular purpose

Full Definition of OVERKILL

1
:  a destructive capacity greatly exceeding that required for a given target
2
:  an excess of something (as a quantity or an action) beyond what is required or suitable for a particular purpose <publicity overkill> <an overkill in weaponry>
3
:  killing in excess of what is intended or required

Examples of OVERKILL

  1. Yes, we need a new car, but this huge truck seems like overkill.
  2. <the song already borders on the maudlin—the addition of a syrupy string accompaniment would just be overkill>

First Known Use of OVERKILL

1958

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