over·​hand | \ ˈō-vər-ˌhand \

Definition of overhand

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: made with the hand brought forward and down from above shoulder level


overhanded; overhanding; overhands

Definition of overhand (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to sew with short vertical stitches



Definition of overhand (Entry 3 of 3)

: an overhand stroke (as in handball)

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Other Words from overhand


overhand adverb
overhanded \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈhan-​dəd \ adverb or adjective

Examples of overhand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Costa hurts Hall with an overhand right, but Hall recovers well. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Paulo Costa vs. Uriah Hall live round-by-round coverage," 8 July 2018 Alves appears to stun Aliev a little with a wild overhand punch late. Todd Martin, latimes.com, "Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs. Sean Strickland live round-by-round coverage," 13 May 2018 And Sam Shewmaker, another heavyweight, sent the audience into a frenzy with his only punch — an overhand right that dropped burly Eric Prindle just 18 seconds into the fight. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Fight club: Legalized bare-knuckle boxing may be next big show in ring," 4 June 2018 With time winding down in the first quarter Merrimack patiently bled the clock, then burst into action, Thomas feeding senior midfielder Kyle Stenberg who sent an overhand laser into the top left pocket of the net. Owen Pence, BostonGlobe.com, "Merrimack trounces Saint Leo to win Division 2 title," 27 May 2018 Compressed air is available inside the studio and outside in the overhand area. Margaret Demarino, courant.com, "Property of the week: 95 West Road, Canton," 6 July 2017 Lopez rushed forward with an overhand right to the officer's head and the two soon were entwined. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "He used a trash can and teeth at the airport. The cops he fought had their own tools | Miami Herald," 18 Apr. 2018 With this movement, and all pulling movements, having a solid grip (either overhand or underhand) is key. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Why Doing Pulling Exercises Like Josephine Skriver Is Important for Building Total-Body Strength," 10 Apr. 2018 Garcia scored all night with a sharp overhand right of his own. John Whisler, San Antonio Express-News, "Garcia earns title on historic night," 11 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rizzo was visibly upset after getting plunked, throwing his bat overhanded toward the Chicago dugout. USA TODAY, "LEADING OFF: Twins in, Red Sox near clinch, testy Cubs-Cards," 27 Sep. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Human workers that have to perform repetitive overhand motions can lead to potential shoulder injuries. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Wearing Exoskeletons Will Work in Ford Plants," 18 Aug. 2018 Knot experts called into court made the same looping overhand and half-hitch knots for jurors to see. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Questions, theories, opinions abound after Zahau wrongful death verdict," 8 Apr. 2018 Philpott described the overhand and clove hitch knots found on the body as common in nautical uses. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Expert mariner shows how knots tied on Rebecca Zahau," 7 Mar. 2018 However, the competition is often criticized, as many contestants use a two-handed chest pass instead of throwing the ball overhand. Joe Clarkin, ajc, "‘Dr. Pepper Challenge’ contestant Jose draws wrath of internet after poor performance at SEC title game," 2 Dec. 2017 At 1-1, 15-0, Youzhny lunged for a backhand overhand volley and went to the ground favoring the hip but opted to continue. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Roger Federer Survives in Five Sets to Reach U.S. Open Third Round," 31 Aug. 2017 The two exchanged big punches with Jolly landing a big overhand and then grabbing a clinch again and once again Menifield switched and pressed Jolly against the cage. Grant Gordon, Glendale News-Press, "Menifield prevails on 'Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series'," 25 July 2017 Push your hips back, and squat to grab kettlebell or weight (overhand grip). Evin Billington, PEOPLE.com, "4 Exercises That Helped Alison Brie Get Insanely Fit for GLOW," 11 July 2017 Push your hips back, and squat to grab kettlebell or weight (overhand grip). Evin Billington, Health.com, "4 Exercises That Helped Alison Brie Get Insanely Fit for ‘GLOW’," 11 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overhand.' 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 overhand


1656, in the meaning defined above


1871, in the meaning defined above


circa 1934, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for overhand

The first known use of overhand was in 1656

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More Definitions for overhand



English Language Learners Definition of overhand

US : made with the hand brought forward and down from above the shoulder


over·​hand | \ ˈō-vər-ˌhand \

Kids Definition of overhand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made with the hand brought forward and down from above the shoulder an overhand throw



Kids Definition of overhand (Entry 2 of 2)

: with an overhand movement I threw the ball overhand.

More from Merriam-Webster on overhand

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overhand

Spanish Central: Translation of overhand

Comments on overhand

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


a servile follower or underling

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