over·​cor·​rect ˌō-vər-kə-ˈrekt How to pronounce overcorrect (audio)
overcorrected; overcorrecting

intransitive verb

: to make too much of a correction : to adjust too much in attempting to offset an error, miscalculation, or problem
If the soup tastes bland, don't overcorrect by adding too much salt.
The driver of the Acura then overcorrected to the right, and as he came near the shoulder, his car was struck by a Toyota sport utility vehicle …The Houston Chronicle
Your first instinct will be to overcorrect every time your drone is headed somewhere you don't want it to go.Scott Gilbertson
overcorrection noun
plural overcorrections
Meant to hold 150 passengers, the Christina took on 250. Listing from the start, an overcorrection in steering capsized the boat. Russell Fielding et al.

Examples of overcorrect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The temptation might be there to overcorrect from the isolation of the past year once things start opening up, but don’t give in. Goldie Chan, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 Still, experts like Professor Gostin at Georgetown University fear that in the absence of data, the world will overcorrect — only to find during the next pandemic that new restrictions have slowed access to medicine, delayed rescue workers and needlessly damaged fragile economies. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, 30 Sep. 2020 There’s a possibility, some economists argue, that the Fed has already brought inflation down and the delay in that showing up in the numbers is causing the central bank to overcorrect, propelling the economy into an unnecessary downturn. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 12 Oct. 2022 But if pollsters overcorrect — or if the balance of pollsters has shifted too far toward the Republican-leaning outfits — there would be a chance that the polls underestimate Democrats. Nate Cohn, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2022 But Democrats shouldn’t overcorrect. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 5 Nov. 2021 Losing sight of those principles can cost much more than trying to overcorrect with each change in government oversight. Restructure core meetings for improved productivity. Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 Analysts worry that if the economy remains strong, and central bankers over whether lower inflation is truly a trend, the Fed will overcorrect and push the United States into an unnecessary recession. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 21 Nov. 2022 That comment helped to soothe investors, who have spent weeks worrying that the Fed might decide to overcorrect after moving too slowly away from policies aimed at stoking growth. New York Times, 4 May 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overcorrect.' 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

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overcorrect was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near overcorrect

Cite this Entry

“Overcorrect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overcorrect. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
over·​cor·​rect -kə-ˈrekt How to pronounce overcorrect (audio)
: to apply a correction to in excess of that required (as for satisfactory performance)
specifically : to correct (a lens) beyond the point of achromatism or so that there is aberration of a kind opposite to that of the uncorrected lens
overcorrection noun
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