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over·​fo·​cus ˌō-vər-ˈfō-kəs How to pronounce overfocus (audio)
overfocused; overfocusing
: to focus (something) or to become focused to an excessive degree: such as
intransitive : to concentrate too much attention or effort
So, as the worrier overfocuses on all the ways that something could go wrong, worry ultimately heightens a sense of danger.Sheila Achar Josephs
transitive : to adjust (a lens) past the point at which an image is perfectly focused
overfocused the camera lens
But the chameleon's cornea, Schaeffel discovered, overfocuses the image.Discover


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: an excessive or unnecessary degree of focus
Behavioral therapy can be very helpful … to control overfocus on work or social issues.Wes Burgess
Our overfocus on relationships leads us to demand too much of intimacy.Geraldine K. Piorkowski

Examples of overfocus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
In other words, stress could exacerbate FND, and someone with FND could overfocus on symptoms and essentially turn up their volume, requiring brain processing for actions that should be automatic. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 8 Dec. 2022 Pay more attention to averages; don’t overfocus on any individual survey. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2022

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


1881, in the meaning defined above


1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overfocus was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near overfocus

Cite this Entry

“Overfocus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overfocus. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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