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

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Examples of overpopulation in a Sentence

He is studying the problem of deer overpopulation.

Recent Examples on the Web

The federal Bureau of Land Management — which oversees vast expanses of public land, mostly in the West — says the problem facing wild horses stems from overpopulation aggravated by severe drought. Fox News, "Drought forces emergency measures for US West's wild horses," 23 July 2018 To a generation that’s saddled with student loan debt, concerned about overpopulation, climate change, and the chemicals in American cheese, pets could represent a comforting, safe investment. Melissa Batchelor Warnke, Glamour, "Your Marriage Is Over. Who Gets Custody of the Pets?," 26 Nov. 2018 Instead it will be threatened by unsustainable overpopulation. WSJ, "Fertility Issue? U.S. Population Is Growing," 6 Aug. 2018 Of course, months later, to help prune back an overpopulation of destroyers sniping battleships, World of Warships added more cruisers with radar. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "World of Warships dives deep for new players, adding submarines to popular naval combat game," 18 Sep. 2018 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

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

21 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for overpopulation

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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More from Merriam-Webster on overpopulation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overpopulation

Spanish Central: Translation of overpopulation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about overpopulation

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a complex dispute or argument

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