over·​ly | \ ˈō-vər-lē How to pronounce overly (audio) \

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 Some state education officials and politicians told NBC News the school district’s interpretation of Texas law was overly broad. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Courts can and have—albeit very rarely—denied geofence warrant requests that are overly broad. Mark Harris, Wired, 30 Sep. 2021 And if the evidence is seized improperly, either because the dragnet is overly broad or because of outright investigative abuses, the target of the search typically has an opportunity to challenge it in court. Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2021 The company’s proposal has been met with opposition from skeptics of overly powerful tech companies, environmentalists and local officials. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2021 That was the wrong time to pass such an overly broad authorization. NBC News, 12 Sep. 2021 Republicans branded his actions as overly broad and stringent. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 11 Sep. 2021 Republicans branded his actions as overly broad and stringent. Bruce Schreiner, ajc, 10 Sep. 2021 Minimalism avoids overly broad decisions that the Court may later regret. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for overly

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

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overly. Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for overly



English Language Learners Definition of overly

: to an excessive degree : too


over·​ly | \ ˈō-vər-lē How to pronounce overly (audio) \

Kids Definition of overly

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

More from Merriam-Webster on overly

Nglish: Translation of overly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overly for Arabic Speakers


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