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over·​clean ˌō-vər-ˈklēn How to pronounce overclean (audio)
overcleaned; overcleaning

transitive verb

: to clean (something) too much
Overcleaning gold jewelry may cause unnecessary wear.
We are victims of our own (carefully nurtured by advertising) need to overclean everything in our lives. We do our children no favours whatsoever by subjecting them to a sterile environment in the house only to send their unprepared immune systems out into a grubby, germy world.Lee Simpson


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: excessively clean
An overclean fish tank lacks important components of a natural ecosystem.
… the windows were not overclean. In honest truth, it must be admitted that they were positively dirty.William Alexander Hammond

Word History

First Known Use


1815, in the meaning defined above


1748, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overclean was in 1748

Dictionary Entries Near overclean

Cite this Entry

“Overclean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overclean. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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