overload

verb
over·​load | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlōd How to pronounce overload (audio) \
overloaded; overloading; overloads

Definition of overload

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to load (something or someone) to excess: such as
a : to put too large a load on or in (something) overload a ship overload a washing machine Overloading the trailer poses a safety risk. … a bad winter can so overload roofs with snow that their collapses become endemic.— Henry Petroski
b : to give too much of something to (someone or something) : to supply with an excess of something overloading students with more information than they can retain More than ever, the upper middle class is synonymous with the stressed-out class. Their bosses are overloading them with work …— Joseph Spiers … have overloaded the market with too many strange designs and weird color combinations.— Mimi Valdés a movie overloaded with special effects a court system overloaded with criminal cases
c : to cause too large a load in (something, such as an electrical circuit) Too much current traveling through one circuit can cause an overload. The wires inside a wall can get too hot and start a fire. Using a special safety power strip can help prevent overloading a circuit.Science

overload

noun
over·​load | \ ˈō-vər-ˌlōd How to pronounce overload (audio) \
plural overloads

Definition of overload (Entry 2 of 2)

: an excessive load or amount of something an overload of cargo an overload of details If your dog is suffering from an overload of stress, he will appear depressed, inactive, sluggish and unresponsive.— Daniel Seligman You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance …— Philip Roth If you're a regular reader of blogs, … you've probably been frustrated from time to time by information overload: the blogosphere creates way too much material for any human being to comfortably digest.— Chris Taylor Large department stores tend to bring on sensory overload [=overstimulation of the senses]— Stephen O'Shea and Joan Harting

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Synonyms for overload

Synonyms: Verb

overburden, overcharge, overfill

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Examples of overload in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This definitely gives me even more incentive to overload my shopping cart! Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "SkinStore’s Anniversary Sale Just Gave Me an Excuse to Buy More Beauty Products (As If I Needed One)," 15 Mar. 2019 The setup is riveting: four affluent Australian friends on a yachting holiday in the Timor Sea come across, in the distance, a fishing boat adrift and overloaded with refugees. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Which of These New TV International Thrillers Should You Binge?," 30 Aug. 2018 Vegetarians, sprinkle on a combo of cheeses like part-skim ricotta and shaved parmesan to avoid overloading on total calories or sodium. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "How Healthy Is Chickpea Pasta? A Dietitian Weighs In on Nutrition and Weight-Loss Benefits," 25 Mar. 2019 Before feeding ingredients into the processor’s tube, make sure to cut the food into small-sized chunks to avoid overloading the machine. Betty Gold, Good Housekeeping, "The 7 Best Food Processors to Buy, According to Kitchen Appliance Experts," 1 Feb. 2019 Four months of bedrest had left me with atrophied muscles and a body overloaded with ice cream, antibiotics, and painkillers—this would be great test of Espace Chenot’s efficacy. Irena Medavoy, Town & Country, "How to Detox Like a Hollywood Power Player," 5 Nov. 2018 Protesters worry housing costs will rise and the transit system will be overloaded. WSJ, "Immigration, Mueller Probe Boosted U.S. Tensions This Year," 18 Dec. 2018 Microsoft tried to redirect some authentication attempts to US servers, but this merely had the effect of overloading those, too. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Microsoft explains one Azure authentication outage as another one happens," 27 Nov. 2018 The kids were able to wipe the memory cards from a recreation of state voting machine interfaces (within five seconds) and either replace a voter’s ballot altogether or overload the system with fake voters to render a real voter’s ballot useless. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "An 11-year-old hacked a replica of Florida’s voting system in 10 minutes," 13 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The click-and-ship ease of e-commerce has contributed to our clothing overload. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The Case for Buying Less Clothing," 4 Jan. 2019 Followers couldn't handle the adorableness overload, and took to the comment section to say just that. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Chip Gaines Shared the Most Adorable Photo of Baby Crew and Fans Are Freaking Out," 16 Oct. 2018 In this age of information overload, parenting advice is everywhere. Andrea Atkins, Woman's Day, "6 Things Kids Really Need," 26 Mar. 2010 Walk in, like Slive did that first day, and sensory overload is a real possibility. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "Mornings at simple diner among best memories of former SEC commissioner Mike Slive," 16 May 2018 Even the runaway hit rom-com of 2018, Crazy Rich Asians, has a hint of ensemble-overload to it. Chloe Angyal, Marie Claire, "The Only Thing Worse Than Valentine's Day Is Valentine's Day," 14 Feb. 2019 The fluffiest pups—and a few cats—mean major cuteness overload in every single episode. Erika Trombley, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About The CW's Adorable New Show “Ready, Set, Pet”," 29 Jan. 2019 Exhibitions are tightly focused, making it a manageable experience for those with kids (or simply on museum overload). Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "The Best New Places to Eat, Stay, and Play in Seattle," 10 Jan. 2019 Photo: PA Wire/Zuma Press Away from Westminster, the effects of Brexit overload are being felt across the country. Max Colchester, WSJ, "In the U.K., Endless Brexit Squabbles Are Snarling Everything Else," 5 Nov. 2018

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

Verb

1553, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1645, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overload

Last Updated

27 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overload

The first known use of overload was in 1553

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More Definitions for overload

overload

verb

English Language Learners Definition of overload

: to put too great a load on or in (something)
: to give too much work to (someone)
: to cause (something, such as an electrical circuit) to be used for too many things at the same time

overload

verb
over·​load | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlōd\
overloaded; overloading

Kids Definition of overload

: to put too great a load on or in

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More from Merriam-Webster on overload

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overload

Spanish Central: Translation of overload

Nglish: Translation of overload for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overload for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overload

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