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

Definition of overstate

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from overstate

overstatement \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈstāt-​mənt How to pronounce overstatement (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for overstate


exaggerate, overdo, overdraw, put on



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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

In the one-on-one meetings that are a prominent feature of the G-7 schedule, Trump has stressed areas of agreement, often overstating the alignment between him and his counterparts while mostly ignoring evidence of diverging views. Los Angeles Times, "Trump says he’s willing to negotiate with Iran, doesn’t want leadership change," 26 Aug. 2019 The company has not only faced public pushback for its role in the opioid crisis, but in 2007 Purdue was found guilty of downplaying the risks and overstating the effectiveness of opioids. Molly Rubin, Quartz, "How an ER doctor and a Purdue Pharma whistleblower think about the opioid crisis," 21 Aug. 2019 States are biased’ Corbett’s erroneous estimate was part of a long and costly pattern of governors overstating damage—and FEMA approving them. Thomas Frank, Scientific American, "Why the U.S. Disaster Agency Is Not Ready for Catastrophes," 20 Aug. 2019 There’s no overstating the role Stone Temple Pilots played in developing the landmark sound of their era. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Warner Chappell Signs Stone Temple Pilots to Worldwide Publishing Deal," 9 Aug. 2019 Like everything with Barry, it was understated and overstated at the same time. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: Barry Sanders retirement a bombshell we should have saw coming," 21 July 2019 However, the promise of getting to keep the mattress set might have caused participants to overstate the benefits, researchers noted. Marni Jameson, orlandosentinel.com, "Mattress Matters, part 2: Can a mattress relieve an aching back?," 19 July 2019 Ford in 2014 lowered the mileage ratings on six models, mostly hybrids and plug-in electric hybrids, after admitting to overstating its vehicles’ fuel economy. Mike Colias, WSJ, "Ford Investigating Its Emissions Testing After Employees Raised Concerns," 21 Feb. 2019 In late July, The New York Times reported that the congressman had overstated parts of his résumé. Adam Edelman, NBC News, "Trump scuttles plan to nominate Ratcliffe as top intelligence official," 2 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overstate.' 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 overstate

1792, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overstate

Last Updated

6 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overstate

The first known use of overstate was in 1792

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More Definitions for overstate



English Language Learners Definition of overstate

: to say that (something) is larger or greater than it really is


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

Kids Definition of overstate

: to put in too strong terms : exaggerate He overstated the usefulness of his invention.

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Comments on overstate

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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