overreach

verb

over·​reach ˌō-vər-ˈrēch How to pronounce overreach (audio)
ˌō-və-
overreached; overreaching; overreaches

transitive verb

1
: to reach above or beyond : overtop
2
: to defeat (oneself) by seeking to do or gain too much
3
: to get the better of especially in dealing and bargaining and typically by unscrupulous or crafty methods

intransitive verb

1
of a horse : to strike the forefoot with the front part of the hind foot
2
a
: to go to excess
3
: to overreach oneself
overreach noun
overreacher
ˈō-vər-ˌrē-chər How to pronounce overreach (audio)
ˈō-və-
ˌō-vər-ˈrē-chər
ˌō-və-
noun

Example Sentences

She overreaches in her latest book, and her argument is not convincing. The company overreached itself and ran out of money after one year.
Recent Examples on the Web Alec Baldwin charged with involuntary manslaughter: Did prosecutors overreach? Brendan Morrow, The Week, 19 Jan. 2023 The view at the White House is much like Nate was outlining, that this could actually be good for him if the Republicans overreach. ABC News, 15 Jan. 2023 As for [finding] mentors, the key is to not overreach. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, 21 Dec. 2022 Each has pleaded not guilty and their defense attorneys maintain the government's allegations overreach what the case's evidence can reasonably prove. John Woolley, CBS News, 12 Dec. 2022 Still, the Republicans could overreach and give Democrats an opening. Richard Galant, CNN, 20 Nov. 2022 Digital groups say the government’s rules amount to overreach and are more typical of those imposed in China or Russia than in democracies. Newley Purnell, WSJ, 1 Sep. 2022 But it’s winning politics — unless Democrats obnoxiously overreach. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2022 There are, however, two areas where Republicans could overreach. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 2 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overreach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of overreach was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near overreach

Cite this Entry

“Overreach.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overreach. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

overreach

verb
over·​reach -ˈrēch How to pronounce overreach (audio)
1
: to reach above or beyond : overtop
2
: to defeat (oneself) by trying to do or gain too much
3
4
: to reach or go too far
overreacher noun

Medical Definition

overreach

intransitive verb
over·​reach -ˈrēch How to pronounce overreach (audio)
of a horse
: to strike the toe of the hind foot against the heel or quarter of the forefoot

Legal Definition

overreach

transitive verb
over·​reach ˌō-vər-ˈrēch How to pronounce overreach (audio)
: to make (someone or something) the subject of overreaching
this uncounseled defendant was…overreached by the prosecution's submission of misinformation to the courtTownsend v. Burke, 334 U.S. 736 (1948)
must determine whether it overreached privilegeNational Law Journal

More from Merriam-Webster on overreach

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