over·ly | \ ˈō-vər-lē \

Definition of overly 

: to an excessive degree : too

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The plant has permits to extract more than 300,000 gallons of water a day as part of a decades-old deal with the federal government that critics say is overly favorable to the plant’s owners. Oscar Lopez, BostonGlobe.com, "In Mexican town, Coca-Cola is everywhere, and so is diabetes," 14 July 2018 On Twitter, the community self-policies, and if someone is deemed spammy or overly exhibitionist, most nudists will ignore them. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "How Twitter Became The Number One Social Network For Nudists," 13 July 2018 They were convicted by an Oregon jury in 2012, but the judge who oversaw their case agreed with the Hammonds that the mandatory five-year sentences for arson on federal land was overly punitive, and the two served short sentences instead. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Pardons Arsonists That Inspired 2016 Bundy Standoff," 10 July 2018 Set to overly dramatic music, watching this tower come crashing down is oddly captivating. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Watch NASCAR track's 150-foot scoring tower come crashing down," 24 Apr. 2018 Not to be overly dramatic, but look at the West playoff field. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "For Warriors, playoffs could be bumpy ride," 25 Mar. 2018 Some of this shortage is attributable to overly burdensome local land and building regulations. WSJ, "The Tight Housing Supply Is Raising Prices," 6 June 2018 Moscow and Beijing have pledged to boost their trade to $200 billion by 2020 — a goal that looks overly ambitious in view of a slow pace of Russian economic growth and remaining restrictions that hamper mutual trade on both sides. Vladimir Isachenkov, Fox News, "Putin heads to China to bolster ties as US pressure grows," 6 June 2018 Banks have complained that complying with the Volcker Rule has been overly burdensome. Jim Puzzanghera, latimes.com, "Fed taking first step to scale back Volcker Rule limits on bank trading enacted after financial crisis," 30 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.

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First Known Use of overly

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overly

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overly

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

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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

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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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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