over·​build ˌō-vər-ˈbild How to pronounce overbuild (audio)
overbuilt ˌō-vər-ˈbilt How to pronounce overbuild (audio) ; overbuilding

transitive verb

: to build beyond the actual demand of

intransitive verb

: to build houses or commercial developments in excess of demand

Examples of overbuild in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trouble is, barriers to entry are also low—and that’s led the sector to overbuild in the past. Brett Owens, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 Additionally, years of rampant demand spurred builders to overbuild in the early 2000s, flooding the country with a home surplus. Erik Lundh, CNN, 22 Nov. 2022 Years of developers overbuilding shopping centers resulted in a bubble of retail space that ultimately burst. Marc Bain, Quartz, 26 May 2020 Tokyo Olympic venues are relatively small in size, due in part to the organizing committee’s focus on not overbuilding and a push to repurpose venues from the 1964 Tokyo Games. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2020 After McKay won that race, Republican Joseph Galdo continued the line of attack, suggesting that developers with easy access to supervisors have been allowed to overbuild in some areas of the county. Washington Post, 3 Dec. 2019 Keen also overbuilds and supports the frames to make sure the ramps remain stable, year after year. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, 6 Dec. 2018 In the years leading up to the 2008 economic crisis, Mr. Jackson criticized U.S. car makers for overbuilding their inventory and then using steep discounts to move cars off dealer lots, a practice that erodes profits and damages a brand’s image. Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, 19 Sep. 2018 Longtime California residents have seen developers misbehave before, overbuilding luxury units and displacing residents in entire neighborhoods with waves of gentrification. Adam Rogers, WIRED, 21 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overbuild.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of overbuild was in 1945

Dictionary Entries Near overbuild

Cite this Entry

“Overbuild.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overbuild. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!