over·​pro·​tect ˌō-vər-prə-ˈtekt How to pronounce overprotect (audio)
overprotected; overprotecting

transitive verb

: to protect (someone or something) more than is necessary or reasonable
Resist overprotecting your daughter because it sends the message that you think she can't handle the situation …Kathy Lynn
But this lawsuit questions whether the university had overprotected an athlete.Marcia Chambers
One never notices a dead flower, and other artists have said they feel the garden actually looks too fresh and overprotected.R. I. C. Fisher
overprotection noun
… millennials' perceived entitlement isn't a result of overprotection but an adaptation to a world of abundance. Joel Stein
overprotective adjective
… she was constantly anxious and pathologically overprotective of her son; he had, literally, to escape the grounds of their estate and the watchfulness of a swarm of servants in order to play with another child. Anne Bernays
overprotectiveness noun
held back by the overprotectiveness of his parents

Examples of overprotect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other families overprotect a disabled child, and drive them through endless therapies and painful regimens in hopes of achieving some kind of cure. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 Unfortunately, a lot of people will go to the opposite extreme and overprotect their hearing at safe levels. Simon Hill, Wired, 1 Feb. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overprotect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overprotect was circa 1885

Dictionary Entries Near overprotect

Cite this Entry

“Overprotect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overprotect. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


transitive verb
over·​pro·​tect -prə-ˈtekt How to pronounce overprotect (audio)
: to protect unduly
overprotected children
overprotective adjective
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