over·​ex·​ploit ˌō-vər-ik-ˈsplȯit How to pronounce overexploit (audio)
overexploited; overexploiting

transitive verb

: to exploit (something, such as a natural resource) to an excessive degree
More than half of the fish stocks in the region are being overexploited.Greenpeace.org
… the future costs of overexploiting the aquifers …Exequiel Ezcurra and Marisa Mazari-Hiriart
overexploitation noun
plural overexploitations
overexploitation and pollution pose serious threats to both sharks and rays. Kelly Marion

Examples of overexploit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The loss of rainfall is putting greater stress on already overexploited aquifers and depleted reservoirs. Jordan Kinard, Scientific American, 15 Feb. 2023

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

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overexploit was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near overexploit

Cite this Entry

“Overexploit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overexploit. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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