over·​serve ˌō-vər-ˈsərv How to pronounce overserve (audio)
overserved; overserving; overserves
transitive : to provide (someone or something) with more of a product, service, etc., than is needed or appropriate : overservice
He admitted older viewers were overserved by the BBC … .John Plunkett
transitive + intransitive : to serve too much food or drink to someone
especially : to serve too much alcohol to someone
… state authorities cited Horseshoe Casino for overserving a patron who troopers said was drunk when he caused a fatal crash later that night. Pat LaFleur
Police say Griffin was arrested for his own safety rather than given misdemeanor citations. A friend of Griffin's said he had been overserved, according to multiple reports. ESPN.com
"It's easy to take a horrific criminal act and associate it with an earlier crime," such as overserving alcohol, he [Jonathan Turley] said. Deanna Paul
… airlines in general benefit from serving free alcohol in part because it is a depressant that, in reasonable amounts, combines with cabin air to sedate passengers. … The trick, of course, is not to overserve, since too much booze can make people rowdy or disruptive. The Economist
see also overserved

Examples of overserve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There was the August night in Toronto when the players hung out at a local bar, perhaps a bit overserved, headed back to the hotel at 2 in the morning, when someone came up with the idea of waking up beloved third base coach Brian Butterfield. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2023 In the lawsuit, which was filed last week in Tarrant County district court, Amy Kirkland also accuses The Point on Lake Worth of overserving Donald Gruber and Peggy Cox on Aug. 7, before both left in a pickup towing a trailer. Michael Williams, Dallas News, 7 Mar. 2023 Earlier this month, a bartender accused of overserving Molina ahead of the crash, Cala Richardson, 26, was charged with one count of sale to certain persons. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 24 Feb. 2023 Officers have instructed businesses not to overserve people and not to admit people who’ve already had too much to drink. Paighten Harkins, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Aug. 2022 There is a tendency to overserve the least valuable clients to the detriment of the most valuable. Marc Emmer, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overserve.' 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

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of overserve was in 1836

Dictionary Entries Near overserve

Cite this Entry

“Overserve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overserve. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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