over·​ly ˈō-vər-lē How to pronounce overly (audio)
: to an excessive degree : too

Example Sentences

These directions are overly complex. She's overly sensitive to criticism. They didn't seem overly concerned about the problem.
Recent Examples on the Web Losing grafts is the most common due to a lack of pruning or overly aggressive pruning. Derek Carwood, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Jan. 2023 That’s hot but not overly aggressive, allowing the complexity of flavors to shine through. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 27 Dec. 2022 Unfortunately, the federal debate on MA has devolved into an overly simplistic academic discourse on whether outcomes and cost are better or worse in MA versus FFS Medicare. Sachin H. Jain, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022 In Russia, however, he's seen as a swashbuckling businessman who was unjustly imprisoned after an overly aggressive U.S. sting operation. Arkansas Online, 9 Dec. 2022 Some prominent intellectuals, including geneticist Richard Lewontin, have dismissed the comparison between cultural and biological evolution as arbitrary and overly simplistic. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2022 That overly simplistic material wasn’t very interesting, and its relationship to what came before and after was unsatisfactory. Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Nov. 2022 Statistics suggest many of Republicans’ claims about bail are overly simplistic, but moderate Democrats said arguing over those finer points simply was not working. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, 9 Nov. 2022 Doctors order inappropriate or overly simplistic tests, whose negative results are used to discredit patients’ genuine symptoms. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near overly

Cite this Entry

“Overly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overly. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


over·​ly ˈō-vər-lē How to pronounce overly (audio)
: to an excessive degree : too

More from Merriam-Webster on overly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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