1

overkill

verb over·kill \ ˌō-vər-ˈkil \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of overkill

: to obliterate (a target) with more nuclear force than required

Recent Examples of overkill from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overkill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of overkill

1957

in the meaning defined above

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2

overkill

noun over·kill \ ˈō-vər-ˌkil \

Definition of overkill

1 : a destructive capacity greatly exceeding that required for a given target
2 : an excess of something (such as a quantity or an action) beyond what is required or suitable for a particular purpose
  • publicity overkill
  • an overkill in weaponry
3 : killing in excess of what is intended or required

Examples of overkill in a Sentence

  1. Yes, we need a new car, but this huge truck seems like overkill.

  2. the song already borders on the maudlin—the addition of a syrupy string accompaniment would just be overkill

Recent Examples of overkill from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overkill.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of overkill

1957

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

OVERKILL Defined for English Language Learners

overkill

Definition of overkill for English Language Learners

  • : something that is much larger, greater, etc., than what is needed for a particular purpose



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fullness to the point of excess

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