over·​pop·​u·​la·​tion | \ˌō-vər-ˌpä-pyə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of overpopulation 

: the condition of having a population so dense as to cause environmental deterioration, an impaired quality of life, or a population crash

Examples of overpopulation in a Sentence

He is studying the problem of deer overpopulation.

Recent Examples on the Web

His ultimate baddie Thanos makes very unpopular decisions like, well, wiping out half the universe based on real-world overpopulation demands for scarce resources. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Sicario' star Josh Brolin is smiling over his killer summer, even with superhero deaths," 26 June 2018 Founder and President Larissa Gavin started nonprofit Lola’s Lucky Day in January 2015 and since then has helped to transport more than 3,000 dogs to Wisconsin, where pet overpopulation is not an issue. Tracy Maness, Houston Chronicle, "Lola’s Lucky Day finds Houston dogs homes in Wisconsin," 18 June 2018 Namely: fears that nuclear power could support overpopulation. Justin Worland, Time, "Historian Richard Rhodes on Nuclear Energy and Climate Change," 4 June 2018 The man had been held at the Marche-en-Famenne federal prison, officials said, which like others in Belgium contends with overpopulation and the radicalization of inmates. New York Times, "Belgian Inmate on Leave Kills 3 in Liège Attack," 29 May 2018 Third, the Jewish state has long grappled with the issue of overpopulation, being that for much of the history of the nation, its resources were limited. Israel Kasnett, Jewish Journal, "Israel's haredi population: Is it growing or shrinking?," 5 June 2018 Feral horse overpopulation is a problem on much of the Navajo Nation, President Begaye said in a statement. Alex Devoid, azcentral, "Drought raises demand for water deliveries to wildlife, but it's a short-term fix," 27 June 2018 What Bezos seems to be getting at is that, with a population that is rapidly escalating and an unquenchable demand for energy, humanity is at risk of overpopulation and resource depletion. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "For Jeff Bezos, Space Is the Place," 31 May 2018 Greg Kingsley lives in Cleveland but knows all about our pet overpopulation problems and the efforts to save the lives of dogs and cats in San Antonio. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, "Ohio dog rescue working hard to save San Antonio dogs," 25 May 2018

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

1802, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

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The first known use of overpopulation was in 1802

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English Language Learners Definition of overpopulation

: a situation in which too many people or animals live in a certain area


over·​pop·​u·​la·​tion | \ˌō-vər-ˌpä-pyə-ˈlā-shən \

Kids Definition of overpopulation

: the condition of having too many people living in a certain area


over·​pop·​u·​la·​tion | \ˌō-vər-ˌpäp-yə-ˈlā-shən \

Medical Definition of overpopulation 

: the condition of having a population so dense as to cause environmental deterioration, an impaired quality of life, or a population crash

Other Words from overpopulation

overpopulated \ -​ˈpäp-​yə-​ˌlāt-​əd \ adjective

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Spanish Central: Translation of overpopulation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about overpopulation

Comments on overpopulation

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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