over·​do | \ˌō-vər-ˈdü \
overdid\ˌō-​vər-​ˈdid \; overdone\ˌō-​vər-​ˈdən \; overdoing\ˌō-​vər-​ˈdü-​iŋ \; overdoes\ˌō-​vər-​ˈdəz \

Definition of overdo 

transitive verb

1a : to do in excess

b : to use to excess

c : exaggerate

2 : to cook too long

3 : exhaust

intransitive verb

: to go to extremes

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Synonyms & Antonyms for overdo


exaggerate, overdraw, overstate, put on



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Examples of overdo in a Sentence

You should exercise every day, but don't overdo it. The acting in that play was badly overdone. Don't overdo the salt in this recipe. The cook overdid the hamburgers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Tackle Thailand with Kids Robyn Mark of Mayamaya Travel specializes in truly engaging experiences for families—without overdoing it. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Our Go-To Tours Through Southeast Asia," 13 Nov. 2018 Conversely, the chances of us overdoing it — trying too hard, spending too much money, reducing emissions too much or too fast — are effectively nil. David Roberts, Vox, "What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like," 8 Oct. 2018 The movie doesn’t overdo the comedy of Donnie’s trust-fund Jesus look or his extravagantly marbled estate. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Review: Joaquin Phoenix stars in the captivating addiction drama 'Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot'," 12 July 2018 Whatever your fitness level, the message from orthopaedic experts is the same – don’t overdo it. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Why varying sports may keep you healthier," 5 June 2018 Don’t overdo the feeding rates, and be prepared to replenish them more often. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "The tough half of the gardening marathon is ahead. Here's how to finish strong," 6 July 2018 Those in search of blue flowers should add sulfur to make the soil more acidic — but do not overdo it, and expect to wait at least a month to see a change if the plant has already bloomed. Tom Avril, Philly.com, "What makes hydrangeas blue or pink? Playing defense," 26 June 2018 Since factors like your heartbeat can cause an enhanced physiologic tremor, overdoing it on stimulants that affect those processes might make your tremor more noticeable. Alison Goldman, SELF, "7 Possible Reasons Your Hands Are Shaking," 21 May 2018 The feeling was that Mayfield went to Mobile resolved to be himself, and overdid it. Albert Breer, SI.com, "2018 NFL Draft: Expect the Unexpected ... And Also For 29 Teams to Make These 32 Picks," 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overdo.' 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 overdo

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for overdo

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overdo

The first known use of overdo was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for overdo



English Language Learners Definition of overdo

: to do too much of (something) : to do (something) in an excessive or extreme way

: to use too much of (something)

: to cook (food) for too long


over·​do | \ˌō-vər-ˈdü \
overdid\-​ˈdid \; overdone\-​ˈdən \; overdoing\-​ˈdü-​iŋ \

Kids Definition of overdo

1 : to do too much of Don't overdo it exercising.

2 : to use too much of They overdid the decorations.

3 : to cook too long I overdid the steak.

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More from Merriam-Webster on overdo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overdo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overdo

Spanish Central: Translation of overdo

Nglish: Translation of overdo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overdo for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overdo

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


having a pattern of small flowers

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