over·​do | \ ˌō-vər-ˈdü How to pronounce overdo (audio) \
overdid\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈdid How to pronounce overdid (audio) \; overdone\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈdən How to pronounce overdone (audio) \; overdoing\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈdü-​iŋ How to pronounce overdoing (audio) \; overdoes\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈdəz How to pronounce overdoes (audio) \

Definition of overdo

transitive verb

1a : to do in excess
b : to use to excess
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

Julie Johnson beautifully captures the practical, small-town warmth of Gander teacher Beulah without overdoing it. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "'Come From Away:’ Amazing show closes out Broadway season in Orlando | Review," 11 June 2019 However, overdoing it on the fluoride at an early age can also cause a condition called dental fluorosis, or when the teeth undermineralize. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Your Kids Are Probably Using Too Much Toothpaste, And It’s Hurting Their Teeth," 6 Feb. 2019 Still, the Trump administration must prepare itself for the coming wave of congressional oversight and investigative efforts and avoid chortling over how Democrats will overdo it. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Both Parties Win—and Lose," 7 Nov. 2018 Will the Federal Reserve skillfully keep the economy from overheating without overdoing its interest-rate increases? William Power, WSJ, "U.S.-Stock Funds Seek Another ‘Up’ Year, but It Will Be Close," 9 Dec. 2018 But even overdoing it with strenuous exercise, such as long distance running or cycling, can cause more harm than good. Jeff Stibel, USA TODAY, "How to use your brain to live a long life," 12 June 2018 The performances are strong across the board, although Lewis overdoes Williamina’s Scottish accent, making her hard to understand at times. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, "Solidarity among female pioneers in bracing drama ‘The Women Who Mapped the Stars’," 25 Apr. 2018 My advice is not to overdo it: Pace yourself; nothing is compulsory. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Golden Door Is the World's Most Iconic Spa," 21 Dec. 2018 The Fed has a tough balance to strike — raise interest rates enough to keep the economy from overheating, but avoid overdoing it so as to surprise markets or cause a recession. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump’s beef with the Fed, explained," 29 Nov. 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

20 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce overdo (audio) \
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).


showing courage and determination

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