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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Take it easy: Have fun but don't overextend yourself or overestimate your abilities. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, "Who yields on a trail? Should you wear a mask? Arizona hiking etiquette questions answered," 30 Apr. 2021 Will overextend for the big blow and struggles to gather himself again. USA TODAY, "2021 NFL draft offensive linemen rankings: Top tackle, guard and center prospects," 27 Apr. 2021 The Bruins went with Swayman rather than overextend Dan Vladar, who started Monday. BostonGlobe.com, "Jeremy Swayman to make NHL debut Tuesday in net for Bruins," 6 Apr. 2021 Your wildcard energy is a lot of fun, but be cautious not to overextend yourself. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for December 28, 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 Of course, individual investors who overextend themselves have been burned before. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Investors Double Down on Stocks, Pushing Margin Debt to Record," 27 Dec. 2020 Don’t overextend yourself in November by taking a vacation or showing off your lifestyle, as your expenditures could become excessive. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Oct. 18, 2020: Taurus, social calendar fills; Virgo, compromise to make everyone happy," 18 Oct. 2020 To do so requires Lombardi and Reed, who combined for three of MSU’s five fumbles lost, to hold on to the ball and not try to overextend plays. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how Michigan State football can pull the upset to stun Michigan," 29 Oct. 2020 The Giants will continue to monitor him and plan not to overextend him. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Drew Smyly almost ready to rejoin Giants; with crowded rotation, what’s his role?," 7 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of overextend

1859, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overextend

Time Traveler for overextend

Time Traveler

The first known use of overextend was in 1859

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overextend

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overextend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overextend. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!