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

Some will say the Pac-12 is back as well, but that’ll be overstating the case off one game and where the SEC team in question could see its coach fired by the end of the year. oregonlive.com, "Oregon opponent early scouting report: Auburn," 8 July 2019 Union lawyers countered with their own statistician, Christian Tregillis, who said American was overstating backups in the maintenance system. Dallas News, "American Airlines, mechanics spar in court over who's responsible for delayed and canceled flights," 1 July 2019 Lanford said the committee overstated the likelihood an anonymous reviewer could be identified. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Judge finds UW health and wellness grant review team violated open government laws," 28 June 2019 But these claims have come under dispute, in particular from academics who suggest that people may overstate the role medical bills play in their financial problems. Jon Greenberg, Scientific American, "Democrats Divided on “Medicare for All” in First Debate," 27 June 2019 That these were not small undertakings can’t be overstated. Tom Bentley, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Big Boy 4014 is Such a Badass Train," 13 June 2019 Jesse Fried and Charles Wang argued earlier this year that the real amount of buybacks is overstated by politicians who focus on gross share repurchases that are partially offset by new share issuances. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Top House Democrats join Elizabeth Warren’s push to fundamentally change American capitalism," 14 Dec. 2018 But John Schneider, chief medical officer at the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, said that firearm policies may be overstated in their contribution to suicide risk. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin suicide rate has increased 25 percent since '99, mirroring national problem," 14 June 2018 The report said that on a few occasions, DECD overstated the number of jobs that were created in relation to economic development aid and understated the number of new jobs that were to be created or saved. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Audit: Economic Development Agency Erred On Tax Credits, Job Creation Numbers," 24 Apr. 2018

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

12 Jul 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).


characterized by aphorism

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