\ ˈō-vər-ˌlīt How to pronounce overlight (audio) \
plural overlights

Definition of overlight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a source of light that is located in a high position: such as
a : a small window above a door But photographs tell us that the French doors had rectangular overlights with semicircular fanlights …— H. Parrott Bacot et al.
b : a ceiling light Cal stood on the neat porch and kept his finger on the bell until the harsh overlight flashed on and the night bolt rasped and Mrs. Bacon looked out.— John Steinbeck


over·​light | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlīt How to pronounce overlight (audio) \
overlit\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈlit How to pronounce overlit (audio) \ also overlighted; overlighting

Definition of overlight (Entry 2 of 2)

: to illuminate (something, such as a building) too brightly or thoroughly As a general rule of thumb most people make the mistake of overlighting rooms …— Melissa Penfold overlit streets/offices Do not overlight.… Remember, there are some things in your yard and home best left unlighted—faucets and hoses, garbage cans, a car in the driveway.— Marshall Wright

First Known Use of overlight


1896, in the meaning defined above


1874, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of overlight was in 1874

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Cite this Entry

“Overlight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlight. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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