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



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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 If the recent threat to India’s Kudankulam power plant is anything to go by, the need to improve the security of industrial networks cannot be overstated. Venkat Krishnapur, Quartz India, "India needs to be battle-ready for a war zone teeming with hackers and malware," 20 Nov. 2019 Artemisin’s effect on the management of malaria cannot be overstated. Richard Gordon, Quartz Africa, "As resistance to anti-malarial drugs spreads, these scientists are racing to stem the tide," 19 Nov. 2019 The selection is incredible, and the convenience can't be overstated. Wired, "Apple Arcade Makes You Ask, What Is a Videogame Worth?," 21 Sep. 2019 The necessity of her more overtly political songs can’t be overstated; as one of the most famous women in the world, Swift’s words of acceptance for the marginalized and her exploration of feminist themes carry tremendous weight. Courtney E. Smith, refinery29.com, "Taylor Swift Knows Lover Is All You Need," 24 Aug. 2019 Dye returning overshadows the linebacker corps as a whole, but the importance of a healthy Slade-Matautia can’t be overstated. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive.com, "Isaac Slade-Matautia’s productivity ’through the roof’ in fall camp, could have breakout season as Oregon’s MLB," 16 Aug. 2019 For the average bitcoin investor, USDT’s importance is difficult to overstate. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Once the world’s largest crypto exchange, Bitfinex stirs controversy," 7 Nov. 2019 But the damage that can be done when law enforcement or prosecutors misuse these tools is difficult to overstate. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "The Last Trusted Prosecutor in Washington," 4 Nov. 2019 Some of the criticism is obviously overstated: The whistleblower, for example, can’t testify in public because by law, his identity needs to be protected. Noah Feldman, Twin Cities, "Noah Feldman: The Trump impeachment inquiry should become public," 19 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for overstate

Time Traveler

The first known use of overstate was in 1792

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Statistics for overstate

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Overstate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstatement?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=overst02. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for overstate


How to pronounce overstate (audio)

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).


a period of high artistic development

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