over·​ca·​pac·​i·​ty | \ ˌō-vər-kə-ˈpa-sə-tē How to pronounce overcapacity (audio) , -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 The economy itself may not soon endure a recurrence of the Great Recession, but an increasingly fractious world trading order and overcapacity in manufacturing will continue to threaten growth. John B. Judis, Washington Post, "I was a ’60s socialist. Today’s progressives are in danger of repeating my generation’s mistakes.," 21 Jan. 2020 Beijing first used supply-side reform in 2015 to describe a drive to eliminate overcapacity by shutting factories and curbing coal-mining and steel output, as the government sought to combat deflation. Washington Post, "Three Buzzwords Point to a China Stocks Boom," 19 Sep. 2019 But if overcapacity develops, automakers aren’t entirely out of luck. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "2019 was the year electric cars grew up," 6 Dec. 2019 So much so that, there is now overcapacity in the sector. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Here’s why this may be the perfect time for you to fly across India," 28 Nov. 2019 Part of the concern is economic: Flush with cash from its rapid growth, China has pumped money into building globally competitive businesses, often creating overcapacity in markets like steel, solar panels and trains. New York Times, "Fearing ‘Spy Trains,’ Congress May Ban a Chinese Maker of Subway Cars," 14 Sep. 2019 So officials need to be mindful of a nation running at two speeds, one plagued by overcapacity and the other vulnerable to the ups and downs of China’s credit cycle. Washington Post, "Value Investing Is Back in China, Thanks to Donald Trump," 19 Sep. 2019 At least four projects are on hold because of school overcapacity. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "Proposals to ease development’s impact on Ellicott City flooding draw opposition from industry," 17 Sep. 2019 Second, Beijing spent much of 2016 and 2017 forcing small factories to close, to make sure overcapacity wouldn’t be as extreme during the next downturn. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Deflation Stalks Chinese Industry Again," 10 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of overcapacity

1877, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overcapacity

Time Traveler for overcapacity

Time Traveler

The first known use of overcapacity was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overcapacity

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overcapacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overcapacity. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overcapacity


How to pronounce overcapacity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overcapacity

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

Comments on overcapacity

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!