over·​ex·​tend | \ ˌō-vər-ik-ˈstend How to pronounce overextend (audio) \
overextended; overextending; overextends

Definition of overextend

transitive verb

: to extend or expand beyond a safe or reasonable point especially : to commit (oneself) financially beyond what can be paid

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Other Words from overextend

overextension \ ˌō-​vər-​ik-​ˈsten(t)-​shən How to pronounce overextension (audio) \ noun

Examples of overextend in a Sentence

He overextended a muscle in his arm.

Recent Examples on the Web

Oatly was a breakout star, catapulted from obscurity, who’d maybe accidentally overextended itself. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Oatly and the quest for the perfect alt-milk," 14 Aug. 2019 Chasing the dream can lure buyers to overextend themselves financially. Washington Post, "The ‘good enough’ home may be just perfect," 6 Aug. 2019 The public healthcare system in Kenya is overextended, understaffed, and underfunded. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz Africa, "Kenya hopes its first human milk bank will save infants’ lives," 13 Aug. 2019 Surely, The Conjuring stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga must’ve enjoyed a couple cheerful afternoons filming their overextended cameos in this prequel-sequel. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Annabelle Comes Home pushes the Conjuring universe toward absurdity: EW review," 24 June 2019 Our investigation found the number of police provided through the state Village Public Safety Officer Program is at or near an all-time low; the few who remain are often unhappy and overextended. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network," 16 May 2019 But Britain stumbled during the Great War, Mr. Lambert argues, conscripting men into a continental army that overextended Britain while turning its focus away from the sea. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘Seapower States’ Review: Ruling Over the Seas," 23 Nov. 2018 Rosso, who’s financially overextended, faces a sentence of 137 years in jail. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘Little Culinary Triumphs’ and ‘Something Great and Beautiful’ Review: Staff of Life, Stuff of Farce," 14 Dec. 2018 The rest of the 28-member EU is overextended, stressed and geopolitically weak. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Charles de Gaulle Saw Brexit Coming," 21 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overextend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of overextend

1859, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overextend

Last Updated

1 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overextend

The first known use of overextend was in 1859

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More Definitions for overextend



English Language Learners Definition of overextend

: to extend or stretch (something) too far


transitive verb
over·​ex·​tend | \ ˌō-və-rik-ˈstend How to pronounce overextend (audio) \

Medical Definition of overextend

: to extend too far overextend the back

Other Words from overextend

overextension \ -​ˈsten-​chən How to pronounce overextension (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on overextend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overextend

Comments on overextend

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


to make a temporary encampment

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