over·​sim·​pli·​fy | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsim-plə-ˌfī How to pronounce oversimplify (audio) \
oversimplified; oversimplifying; oversimplifies

Definition of oversimplify

transitive verb

: to simplify to such an extent as to bring about distortion, misunderstanding, or error

intransitive verb

: to engage in undue or extreme simplification

Other Words from oversimplify

oversimplification \ ˌō-​vər-​ˌsim-​plə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce oversimplify (audio) \ noun

Examples of oversimplify in a Sentence

The article oversimplifies the problem. She tends to oversimplify things. We must resist the temptation to oversimplify.
Recent Examples on the Web But the assertions by Abbott and others are misleading and oversimplify the situation in the country’s third-largest city. Michael Tarm And Corey Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 31 May 2022 On the other hand, some may oversimplify it as a pro-life statement, advocating pointedly in a late scene for every child’s right to be born. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 May 2022 But, to oversimplify, the gist of what's happened of late is that, as University of Calgary professor Ryan Clements explains to my colleagues, algorithmic stablecoins ultimately rely on perception and demand. Declan Harty, Fortune, 12 May 2022 To dramatically oversimplify, all SSDs need at least two things: NAND flash chips that store data and an SSD controller that handles the particulars of reading from and writing to those chips. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 22 Mar. 2022 To oversimplify it just a bit further — if Budweiser is back, is America is back? Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 2 Feb. 2022 But the clean-eating ethos can also oversimplify nutrition and lead to an unwarranted fear of food that isn’t in its original form. Christine Byrne, Outside Online, 9 Nov. 2021 To oversimplify things, if The Gilded Age is an American version of Downton Abbey, which Fellowes also created, then Agnes serves as a parallel to the Dowager Countess, famously played by Dame Maggie Smith. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 24 Jan. 2022 Sasha [Aleksandar’s nickname] is, to drastically oversimplify, the logic-checker. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 22 Dec. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of oversimplify

1897, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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The first known use of oversimplify was in 1897

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oversimplify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oversimplify. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for oversimplify


over·​sim·​pli·​fy | \ ˌō-vər-ˈsim-plə-ˌfī How to pronounce oversimplify (audio) \
oversimplified; oversimplifying

Kids Definition of oversimplify

: to cause (something) to seem simpler than it is He oversimplified a complicated problem.

More from Merriam-Webster on oversimplify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oversimplify

Nglish: Translation of oversimplify for Spanish Speakers


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