over·​ex·​plain ˌō-vər-ik-ˈsplān How to pronounce overexplain (audio)
overexplained; overexplaining

transitive + intransitive

: to explain (something) to an excessive degree
The stories tended to be as simple as a good children's picture-book, so that nothing needed to be overexplained.Noel Murray
Students are confused about the instructions: … Repeat … the rules to clarify but do not overexplain.Katrina Schwartz

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The final thing Heels’ second episode does solidify, though, is that in spite of the elephantine pressure to overexplain most of its characterization, there are the lovely little beats that arrive first. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 13 Aug. 2021 What is particularly powerful is that the film does not feel the need to overexplain Monica. Tracy Brown, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2023 Allow Danielle Young to overexplain. Admin, Essence, 18 Oct. 2021 And don’t feel pressured to overexplain. Megan Greenwell, Wired, 17 Mar. 2021 The other women in my class at Hammerstone talk about this, too — having fathers or spouses who wouldn’t teach them or who would just do it for them, or feeling frustrated when men overexplain small details. Kerry Sheridan, Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2022 But this is a production that never passes up an opportunity to overexplain. Vulture, 25 Apr. 2022 Throughout the course of the book, the characters use a variety of Yiddish terms and phrases, which Lamb is careful not to overexplain — a deliberate decision on their part. Maya Homan, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Dec. 2022 Yes, Old has plenty of the clunky dialogue that defines Shyamalan’s work—his characters often can’t help but overexplain what’s going on around them. David Sims, The Atlantic, 22 July 2021 See More

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

1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overexplain was in 1828

Dictionary Entries Near overexplain

Cite this Entry

“Overexplain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overexplain. Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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