over·ca·pac·i·ty | \ ˌō-vər-kə-ˈpa-sə-tē , -ˈpa-stē \

Definition of overcapacity 

: excessive capacity for production or services in relation to demand

Examples of overcapacity in a Sentence

The airlines are lowering their prices because of an overcapacity of seats.

Recent Examples on the Web

Skeptics say China has made similar unfulfilled promises to other administrations on issues ranging from reducing overcapacity in steel production to opening up its financial markets. Mark Landler, New York Times, "China Plans Up to $200 Billion in Trade Concessions, but Skepticism Abounds," 17 May 2018 Many foreign leaders have agreed that there is a global overcapacity of steel and aluminum, which most attribute to China's vast expansion in recent decades. Damian Paletta, chicagotribune.com, "At G-20, Trump team shows no sign of backing off potential trade war," 20 Mar. 2018 The real problem, world-wide steel overcapacity and overproduction in countries like China, would go unanswered. Cecilia Malmström, WSJ, "Friends Don’t Let Friends Impose Tariffs," 7 June 2018 The crowd on hand was not the biggest PVA has organized since the start of the 2018 World Cup as the opening-match upset against Germany ended with an overcapacity building. Atreya Verma, azcentral, "World Cup Round of 16: Pancho Villa's Army celebrates as Mexico advances," 27 June 2018 Alcoa and the industry’s trade group, Aluminum Association, said Thursday’s action failed to address the industry’s biggest problem: overcapacity to make aluminum in China. WSJ, "Businesses Voice Concerns Over Tariffs," 31 May 2018 Ms Brock had hoped that any measures would be aimed at tackling Chinese subsidies and overcapacity. The Economist, "President Trump’s tariffs have united his opponents at home and abroad," 7 June 2018 The Chinese steel industry is rife with overcapacity and its efforts to reduce inventory could be viewed as dumping. Tom Saler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tom Saler: History shows tariffs tend to end badly," 9 Mar. 2018 If China has cut enough industrial overcapacity and housing inventory in the past 18 months—the main drags on inflation—then nominal growth shouldn’t slow too much. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The U.S.-China Policy Divergence Is—Again—Key to Markets," 27 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of overcapacity

1877, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

22 Aug 2018

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The first known use of overcapacity was in 1877

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English Language Learners Definition of overcapacity

: a situation in which an industry, company, etc., has or produces more of something than it is able to sell or use

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