overreact

verb
over·​re·​act | \ ˌō-vər-rē-ˈakt How to pronounce overreact (audio) \
overreacted; overreacting

Definition of overreact

intransitive verb

: to react to something too strongly : to respond to something with too strong an emotion or with unnecessary or excessive action I was furious and yelled at him. He told me I was overreacting and to "chillax."— Ben Stein The world isn't coming to an end. You shouldn't overreact to the negative news.— Adam Bryant Some of his animals had become apprehensive and twitchy, overreacting to sound or touch …— Mark Caldwell But the military police overreacted, using tear gas, rubber bullets and excessive force in front of news cameras that spread the images countrywide.— Grant Wahl … the poisonous surfeit of hormones produced by the overreacting immune system.— Shannon Brownlee Sometimes companies in a little bit of trouble are the best investments because the market has overreacted.— Orson C. Clay

Other Words from overreact

overreaction \ ˌō-​vər-​rē-​ˈak-​shən How to pronounce overreaction (audio) \ noun, plural overreactions
… he had said almost angrily that he couldn't tell her anything without eliciting a huge overreaction. — Ann Beattie This response is an overreaction by your immune system to an otherwise harmless substance, such as pollen or pet dander. Medical Clinic Health Letter

First Known Use of overreact

1919, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overreact

Time Traveler for overreact

Time Traveler

The first known use of overreact was in 1919

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overreact

Cite this Entry

“Overreact.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overreact. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overreact

overreact

verb
How to pronounce overreact (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overreact

: to respond to something with an emotion that is too strong or an action that is unnecessary : to react to something too strongly

overreact

verb
over·​re·​act | \ ˌō-vər-rē-ˈakt \
overreacted; overreacting

Kids Definition of overreact

: to respond with an emotion that is too strong or an action that is extreme or unnecessary After being criticized, he overreacted and quit the team.
over·​re·​act | \ ˌō-və(r)-rē-ˈakt How to pronounce overreact (audio) \

Medical Definition of overreact

: to react excessively or too strongly the body's immune system overreacts to the endotoxin— Tina Adler

Other Words from overreact

overreaction \ -​ˈak-​shən How to pronounce overreaction (audio) \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on overreact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overreact

Spanish Central: Translation of overreact

Nglish: Translation of overreact for Spanish Speakers

Comments on overreact

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!