over·​shoot | \ ˌō-vər-ˈshüt How to pronounce overshoot (audio) \
overshot\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈshät How to pronounce overshoot (audio) \; overshooting

Definition of overshoot

transitive verb

1 : to pass swiftly beyond
2 : to shoot or pass over or beyond so as to miss

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Other Words from overshoot

overshoot \ ˈō-​vər-​ˌshüt How to pronounce overshoot (audio) \ noun

Examples of overshoot in a Sentence

The plane overshot the runway. Sometimes we overshoot our time limits.
Recent Examples on the Web The Climate Action Tracker, compiled by a group of researchers who translate emission pledges into temperature estimates, projects that the world is currently set to overshoot the Paris accord’s target by 0.9 degrees. NBC News, "Climate pledges see world closing on Paris goal, researchers say," 4 May 2021 As the silent comedians knew, and as insurance agents tend to forget, experience can overshoot the strange. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Small Worlds of “About Endlessness”," 30 Apr. 2021 Cons: Overcommits to initial reads in coverage and will overshoot his target. USA TODAY, "2021 NFL draft inside linebacker rankings: Penn State's Micah Parsons headlines top LB prospects," 28 Apr. 2021 Both measurements of the muon’s wobbliness, or magnetic moment, significantly overshoot the theoretical prediction, as calculated last year by an international consortium of 132 theoretical physicists. Quanta Magazine, "‘Last Hope’ Experiment Finds Evidence for Unknown Particles," 7 Apr. 2021 But on Thursday, (March 11), fewer than 50 days into his term, Biden stated in a primetime speech that his administration is on track to overshoot its initial target. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Three ways Biden can keep the US on track for a new normal by summer," 12 Mar. 2021 After years of undershooting 2%, the Fed would like inflation to slightly overshoot. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Is Inflation a Risk? Not Now, but Some See Danger Ahead," 1 Mar. 2021 One key difference between this recovery and the last is that after years of undershooting the Fed's 2% inflation goal, the central bank wants inflation to overshoot 2%. Matt Egan, CNN, "Exclusive: Wall Street is in for a rude awakening, former NY Fed president says," 3 Mar. 2021 Yet actual measurements consistently overshoot the mark. Quanta Magazine, "Astronomers Get Their Wish, and a Cosmic Crisis Gets Worse," 17 Dec. 2020

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

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First Known Use of overshoot

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for overshoot

Time Traveler

The first known use of overshoot was in the 14th century

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Statistics for overshoot

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overshoot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overshoot. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for overshoot



English Language Learners Definition of overshoot

: to go over or beyond (something)


over·​shoot | \ ˌō-vər-ˈshüt How to pronounce overshoot (audio) \
overshot\ -​ˈshät \; overshooting

Kids Definition of overshoot

: to miss by going beyond


over·​shoot | \ ˈō-vər-ˌshüt How to pronounce overshoot (audio) \

Medical Definition of overshoot

: a rapid change in electrical potential and reversal of polarity that occurs during an action potential when a cell or tissue is stimulated

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