over·​es·​ti·​mate | \ ˌō-vər-ˈe-stə-ˌmāt How to pronounce overestimate (audio) \
overestimated; overestimating

Definition of overestimate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to estimate or value (someone or something) too highly … the senator had been so responsible about his potential tax liabilities that he had substantially overestimated what he owed the government.— David Burnham … our habit of overestimating our knowledge and underestimating our ignorance …— David A. Shaywitz The emotional power of this reunion can't be overestimated.— Joe Klein "I mean that I am afraid I overestimated him. I don't think that he is a painter of the first rank."— Henry James


over·​es·​ti·​mate | \ ˌō-vər-ˈe-stə-mət How to pronounce overestimate (audio) \
plural overestimates

Definition of overestimate (Entry 2 of 2)

: an estimate that is too high overestimates of the company's future profits Diamond still attacks the growth projections that the utilities have put forward, arguing that the … figures were overestimates— Norman Boucher

Synonyms & Antonyms for overestimate

Synonyms: Verb

overrate, overvalue

Antonyms: Verb

underestimate, underrate, undervalue

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First Known Use of overestimate


1797, in the meaning defined above


1828, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for overestimate

The first known use of overestimate was in 1797

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English Language Learners Definition of overestimate

: to estimate (something) as being greater than the actual size, quantity, or number
: to think of (someone or something) as being greater in ability, influence, or value than that person or thing actually is


over·​es·​ti·​mate | \ ˌō-vər-ˈe-stə-ˌmāt\
overestimated; overestimating

Kids Definition of overestimate

: to estimate too highly I overestimated the number of guests.

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More from Merriam-Webster on overestimate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overestimate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overestimate

Spanish Central: Translation of overestimate

Nglish: Translation of overestimate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on overestimate

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


fear of the number 13

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