over·​ly | \ ˈō-vər-lē \

Definition of overly

: to an excessive degree : too

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of overly in a Sentence

These directions are overly complex. She's overly sensitive to criticism. They didn't seem overly concerned about the problem.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Your outfit will be bright and head-turning, without being busy or overly complicated. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "5 Chic Outfits that Take the Stress Out of Valentine's Day Dressing," 30 Jan. 2019 That bitterness can also keep desserts from being overly sweet. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "21 Delicious Ways to Cook With Grapefruit," 29 Jan. 2019 For the makeup and hair, Miley opted for subtle glamour, rocking loose waves and a smokey eye, instead of an overly bridal 'do. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Miley Cyrus Reveals Her Beautiful Vintage-Inspired Wedding Dress on Instagram," 26 Dec. 2018 After a busy and perhaps (overly) indulgent holiday season, radical change might feel like the answer. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "How to Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet," 19 Dec. 2018 No one faults Trump for having to deal with an overly aggressive Pyongyang. Alex Ward, Vox, "How Trump made the North Korea crisis worse," 12 Dec. 2018 While a little harsh towards the Montgolfier Brothers, the passage is textbook North—dry but not overly, and chock full of information. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Here's a Guide for Reinventing the World If Your Time Machine Gets Stuck in the Past," 18 Sep. 2018 The level of water on the planet is somewhat surprising, though perhaps not overly, considering the size of Jupiter. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Water clouds in Jupiter's Great Red Spot mean alien life 'can't be ruled out'," 31 Aug. 2018 Another day, another overly complex transfer scenario. SI.com, "Napoli Offer Chelsea a Way Out of Paying Maurizio Sarri's £7m Buyout Fee," 23 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of overly

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overly

Statistics for overly

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overly

The first known use of overly was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overly



English Language Learners Definition of overly

: to an excessive degree


over·​ly | \ ˈō-vər-lē \

Kids Definition of overly

: by too much : to an excessive degree overly worried an overly long movie

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on overly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overly

Spanish Central: Translation of overly

Nglish: Translation of overly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overly

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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