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

Definition of overemphasize

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

First Known Use of overemphasize

1875, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overemphasize

Time Traveler for overemphasize

Time Traveler

The first known use of overemphasize was in 1875

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overemphasize

Cite this Entry

“Overemphasize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overemphasize. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overemphasize


How to pronounce overemphasize (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overemphasize

: to treat (something) with more importance than is needed or proper : to emphasize (something) too strongly

More from Merriam-Webster on overemphasize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overemphasize

Nglish: Translation of overemphasize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on overemphasize

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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