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

Definition of overbuild

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 Years of developers overbuilding shopping centers resulted in a bubble of retail space that ultimately burst. Marc Bain, Quartz, "The US shopping mall was already in trouble—then came Covid-19," 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, "Tokyo 2020 Looks Like the Toughest Olympic Ticket Ever," 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, "Fairfax Supervisor Jeff McKay cleared of wrongdoing in house purchase," 3 Dec. 2019 Keen also overbuilds and supports the frames to make sure the ramps remain stable, year after year. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Big Air For a Higher Purpose," 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, "AutoNation’s Outspoken Chief Executive to Step Down Next Year," 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, "Big Tech Isn’t the Problem With Homelessness. It’s All of Us," 21 June 2018 So fears of overbuilding the downtown area may be premature, at least for now. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Are there enough people to fill downtown Detroit condos, apartments?," 14 May 2018 This deal comes amid industry consolidation as marine transportation works to recover from a down cycle caused by overbuilding barge equipment during the shale boom. Andrea Rumbaugh, Houston Chronicle, "Kirby Corp. to acquire 16 barges from Targa Resources Corp.," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overbuild.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of overbuild

1945, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overbuild

Time Traveler for overbuild

Time Traveler

The first known use of overbuild was in 1945

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overbuild

Cite this Entry

“Overbuild.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overbuild. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on overbuild

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overbuild

Comments on overbuild

What made you want to look up overbuild? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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