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

The market could also be overstating the potential damage from a trade war. Washington Post, "Trump’s Trade War Has Cost Investors Up to $7 Trillion," 18 Sep. 2019 But even those numbers probably overstate how central this work is to the economic lives of Americans. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers After All," 15 Sep. 2019 The girl was overstating or misrepresenting her experience. Daniel Smith, The New Yorker, "Courage," 22 Aug. 2019 The documents overstated business expenses and understated business profits for Creative Consultants and the Georgia Christian Coalition. James Salzer, ajc, "Feds release new charges against suspended Georgia commissioner Beck," 14 Aug. 2019 The school incorrectly overstated its alumni giving data to U.S. News since at least 2014. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "UC Berkeley and four other schools removed from Best Colleges list for misreporting statistics," 29 July 2019 There is no overstating Verdell’s importance to Oregon’s success in 2019. oregonlive.com, "Oregon MVP 10: Unsung bell cow CJ Verdell is No. 6," 28 June 2019 But as Alexia Fernández Campbell has written several times for Vox, Trump is massively overstating the jobs impact of Saudi arms sales. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "There’s nothing “America First” about Trump’s Saudi policy," 21 Nov. 2018 But, husbands overstate their own earnings less than wives do, and wives devalue their own earnings less than husbands do. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Couples Are Lying to the Census Bureau When the Woman Earns More Money," 18 July 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

18 Oct 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).


involving a confidence or trust

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