over·​state ˌō-vər-ˈstāt How to pronounce overstate (audio)
overstated; overstating; overstates

transitive verb

: to state in too strong terms : exaggerate
overstated his qualifications
overstatement noun

Examples of overstate in a Sentence

It would be overstating the case to say that it was a matter of life or death. it appears you've somewhat overstated your computer skills, if you can't find the “on” button!
Recent Examples on the Web District 4 – no recommendation One cannot overstate the advantage of incumbency in politics. East Bay Times Editorial, The Mercury News, 13 Feb. 2024 The film’s title rather overstates the Frankenstein of it all. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 7 Feb. 2024 But the multigenerational pair of CEOs atop the famous Harris Poll, which was founded by John F. Kennedy’s pollster Lou Harris, shows that the media and pollsters may be guilty of overstating generational divides. Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 4 Feb. 2024 Experts caution that January’s numbers could overstate the true status of the labor market, since seasonal adjustments at the start of the year can distort the data. Lauren Kaori Gurley, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2024 The statement drew attention at the time because O’Malley overstated the extent of the robbery crisis, citing numbers that were much higher than in reality. Grace Hase, The Mercury News, 23 Jan. 2024 Reluctant to overstate the risk, however, Kayes downplayed the recent job cuts in tech. Max Zahn, ABC News, 18 Jan. 2024 And perhaps the most immediate risk is that the big inflation slowdown toward the end of 2023 could have been overstated. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2024 Lordstown stockholders accused sponsors behind its SPAC of overstating demand for its flagship Endurance truck. Jonathan Randles, Fortune, 28 Dec. 2023 See More

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

1792, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overstate was in 1792

Dictionary Entries Near overstate

Cite this Entry

“Overstate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstate. Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


over·​state -ˈstāt How to pronounce overstate (audio)
: to state in too strong terms : exaggerate
overstatement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on overstate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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