over·​pre·​scribe | \ ˌō-vər-pri-ˈskrīb How to pronounce overprescribe (audio) \
overprescribed; overprescribing

Definition of overprescribe

transitive + intransitive

: to prescribe (a medication, diagnostic test, etc.) in excess or more often than necessary The family of a man who fatally overdosed is suing his doctors claiming they overprescribed addictive pain medication.WPXI.com (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) … tried … to warn the world against overprescribing antibiotics to a point that they would be useless.Network Ten (Australia) Critics say Xanax is overprescribed and widely abused.— Jane Velez-Mitchell … the compelling and continuing issues of quality control and overprescribing in medical imaging …— David J. Brenner and Hedvig Hricak Why do doctors overprescribe? Is it about covering their backsides in this litigious society?— Michael T. Osterholm and Mark Olshaker

First Known Use of overprescribe

1953, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of overprescribe was in 1953

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Cite this Entry

“Overprescribe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overprescribe. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for overprescribe


over·​pre·​scribe | \ -pri-ˈskrīb How to pronounce overprescribe (audio) \
overprescribed; overprescribing

Medical Definition of overprescribe

intransitive verb

: to prescribe excessive or unnecessary medication

transitive verb

: to prescribe (medication) unnecessarily or to excess

Other Words from overprescribe

overprescription \ -​pri-​ˈskrip-​shən How to pronounce overprescription (audio) \ noun

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