1

overload

verb over·load \ ˌō-vər-ˈlōd \
Updated on: 7 Dec 2017

Definition of overload

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

Recent Examples of overload from the Web

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.

First Known Use of overload

1553

overload Synonyms


2

overload

noun over·load \ ˈō-vər-ˌlōd \

Definition of overload

plural overloads
: 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

Recent Examples of overload from the Web

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.

First Known Use of overload

1645


OVERLOAD Defined for Kids

overload

verb over·load \ ˌō-vər-ˈlōd \

Definition of overload for Students

overloaded; overloading
: to put too great a load on or in


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to provide what is needed to exist

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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