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 overextend (audio) \ noun

Examples of overextend in a Sentence

He overextended a muscle in his arm.
Recent Examples on the Web The first of these is financial in nature – that lenders become overly enthusiastic and overextend themselves. Milton Ezrati, Forbes, 17 May 2021 Extreme heat seasons often overextend emergency departments. Chrystelle L. Vilfranc, The Indianapolis Star, 30 July 2021 Did this eagerness to get the bad actors inadvertently overextend into invading the privacy of others? Lance Eliot, Forbes, 12 June 2021 Women on the show are implicitly encouraged to overextend themselves by producers who reward ostentatious and frequently irresponsible behavior with screen time and juicy story arcs. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2021 Falcon and Far From Home both overextend Endgame epilogues into awkward changing-of-the-guard reboots. Darren Franich, EW.com, 10 June 2021 The financial and psychological damage caused by those rough years is why even as housing demand rebounded, builders and sawmills were careful to not overextend themselves. Fortune, 10 June 2021 Employees: Don’t overextend by hiring too many people too quickly. Abdo Riani, Forbes, 5 June 2021 Many medical practices overextend themselves and try to post on too many channels. John Keehler, Forbes, 10 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for overextend

Time Traveler

The first known use of overextend was in 1859

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Dictionary Entries Near overextend



overextend oneself

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overextend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overextend. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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 overextend (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on overextend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overextend


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