over·​em·​pha·​size ˌō-vər-ˈem(p)-fə-ˌsīz How to pronounce overemphasize (audio)
overemphasized; overemphasizing

transitive verb

: to give excessive emphasis to (something)
overemphasize risks
We have overemphasized the differences between men and women.Zosia Bielski
… people feeling pushed into starting businesses … in a culture that overemphasizes entrepreneurialism.Derrick Penner
I can't overemphasize the importance of this turning point in my life.Genesse Gentry
We … cannot overemphasize how important it is to keep up with latest security fixes …Rene Gielen
The value of a good reputation cannot be overemphasized.J. Dwight Pentecost
It's hard to overemphasize how significant this development will be …Rich Smith

Examples of overemphasize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Moreover, overemphasizing tools rather than understanding Agile principles can lead to superficial adoption. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2024 Although people are part of the environment, and ought to be part of the biosphere’s self-expression, the human point of view is overemphasized in any photograph, let alone one taken from a rocket. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 The absence of testing as a metric for acceptance in some colleges has also stirred fears about overemphasizing other parts of the application process. Theara Coleman, theweek, 26 Jan. 2024 The Hasidic movement was founded in the 18th century in Eastern Europe by a rabbi known as the Baal Shem Tov, who felt that Judaism had overemphasized intellectual qualities to the detriment of spiritual fervor and sincerity. Joseph Berger, New York Times, 19 Jan. 2024 Here as elsewhere, the civilizational approach proved demonstrably, even catastrophically wrong, highlighting the limits of a perspective that overemphasizes the role of culture in world affairs. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 19 Oct. 2023 Weiler tends to overemphasize Ryan’s nerves and overplay his breakdowns, while Thompson portrays Dani nearly shrinking into the background. In Swing State, Vulture, 17 Sep. 2023 Those few, however, have an opportunity to raise their stock through recency bias, a behavioral economics phenomenon defined as a tendency to overemphasize the importance of recent experiences when predicting future events. Steve Henson, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2023 Critics overemphasize the possibility of making more money in the stock market. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2023

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

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overemphasize was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near overemphasize

Cite this Entry

“Overemphasize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overemphasize. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on overemphasize

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!