over·​heat | \ˌō-vər-ˈhēt \
overheated; overheating; overheats

Definition of overheat 

transitive verb

1 : to heat to excess

2 : to stimulate or agitate unduly

intransitive verb

: to become heated beyond a safe or desirable point

Examples of overheat in a Sentence

I overheated the food in the microwave. Be careful not to overheat the engine.

Recent Examples on the Web

One worry is that the economy could overheat and worker wages and other types of inflation could spike because of all the stimulus from tax cuts and government spending on things such as infrastructure. Adam Shell, USA TODAY, "Trump Bump is down but not out after stock rout," 13 Feb. 2018 Yoga and hot yoga have essentially the same health benefits, but too much of the latter can overheat participants to dangerous levels. USA TODAY, "The biggest exercise fad the year you were born," 12 July 2018 An air conditioner on the roof overheated and burned, Metro Video reported. Houston Chronicle, "Fire damages River Oaks shopping center," 18 June 2018 The booming economy has fueled concern of overheating and with inflation at a five-year high, the era of record-low interest rates may be approaching its end. Cecilia Yap, Bloomberg.com, "Philippine Growth Quickens to 6.8%, Adding to Rate Hike Call," 10 May 2018 Right now, Amazon's got a great deal to keep your laptop from overheating. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "Avoid overheating with this six-fan adjustable laptop cooling pad for under $12," 14 June 2018 The central bankers haven’t resolved a debate over how much to raise rates this year to ensure the rapidly expanding U.S. economy doesn’t overheat, according to interviews and public comments from Fed officials. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Now the Fed Must Reckon With Long-Term Strategy," 10 June 2018 Other e-cigarettes contain features to prevent the devices from overheating. Eli Meixler, Time, "A Florida Man’s Death Was Caused by an Exploding E-Cigarette, According to His Autopsy," 17 May 2018 Rising interest rates can also slow economic growth and are, actually intended to keep the economy from overheating. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump doesn’t respect the independence of any institution around him," 12 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overheat

Statistics for overheat

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overheat

The first known use of overheat was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overheat



English Language Learners Definition of overheat

: to become too hot

: to cause (something) to become too hot


over·​heat | \ˌō-vər-ˈhēt \
overheated; overheating

Kids Definition of overheat

: to heat too much : become too hot The engine overheated.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on overheat

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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