over·​pop·​u·​late | \ ˌō-vər-ˈpä-pyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce overpopulate (audio) \
overpopulated; overpopulating; overpopulates

Definition of overpopulate

transitive verb

: to populate too densely : furnish or provide with more than the environment or market will bear

intransitive verb

: to become overly populous

Examples of overpopulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The argument that the world is overpopulated—and that control of birth rates holds the key to reversing climate change—dates back to Malthus, and remains a stubborn presence in the climate change debate today. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "Making Life Cheap," 18 May 2020 Director Lisa Portes overpopulates the stage with performers who are largely squandered on overindulgent choreography or, in a half-baked thread, scenes visualizing the online community tracking Olivia’s blog. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, "Road-trip musical ‘Miss You Like Hell’ embarks on a bumpy ride to catharsis," 4 Feb. 2020 The ruling came after a seven-day trial in which attorneys for migrants who sued back in 2015 claimed the facilities were overpopulated, overly cold and unsanitary, according to The Associated Press. Nick Givas, Fox News, "US judge in Arizona rules Border Patrol must provide mats, blankets for detained migrants," 20 Feb. 2020 Shelters are usually overpopulated during this time of year. Segann March, Cincinnati.com, "Adopt a furry animal this holiday season for $25 or less in Cincinnati," 25 Nov. 2019 Trump, however, the Never Trump conservatives who had previously dutifully advanced Republican talking points were overpopulating cable news shows and editorial pages. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Why Did CNN Hire a Moron Like Sean Duffy?," 29 Oct. 2019 Springbok and kudu are overpopulated in parts of South Africa, so the government grants certain South African tribes a certain number of the animals to cull to help manage the population. Faran Krentcil, Harper's BAZAAR, "Should Fur Be Illegal?," 13 Sep. 2019 The city has said the prairie dogs are overpopulated, carry disease and are destroying property, according to a City Council presentation from the April 8 meeting. James Burky, The Denver Post, "Prairie dog protection group wants judge to block Commerce City prairie dog extermination," 9 Sep. 2019 And when burros overpopulate and damage areas of the western United States, they are rounded up and sent to corrals to manage their numbers. Meghan Dunn, CNN, "Inside the country's largest sanctuary for abused and neglected donkeys," 30 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overpopulate.' 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 overpopulate

1828, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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The first known use of overpopulate was in 1828

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Cite this Entry

“Overpopulate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overpopulate. Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on overpopulate

Britannica English: Translation of overpopulate for Arabic Speakers

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