over·​in·​ge·​nious | \ ˌō-vər-in-ˈjēn-yəs How to pronounce overingenious (audio) \

Definition of overingenious

: excessively or unnecessarily ingenious or clever an overingenious theory/plot/argument It is impossible to say of Rashi, as we might of a secular critic writing about a poem or novel, that he is overingenious, interpreting things that need no interpretation.— Adam Kirsch He turns the man's conduct over in his mind, and tries to find excuses for him, and he is overingenious in doing so.— Sabine Baring-Gould

Other Words from overingenious

overingenuity \ ˌō-​vər-​ˌin-​jə-​ˈnü-​ə-​tē How to pronounce overingenious (audio) , -​ˈnyü-​ \ noun
… we are likely to understand him [Shakespeare] better if we assume that he knew what he was doing every minute, even at the risk of an occasional exercise in overingenuity on our part. — Harry Levin

First Known Use of overingenious

1849, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of overingenious was in 1849

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Cite this Entry

“Overingenious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overingenious. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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