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 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 The damage that African swine fever has wrecked on China's pig population is hard to overstate. Laura He, CNN, "Dumplings without pork? Swine fever is hitting Chinese consumers," 16 Oct. 2019 Nike’s sway in elite track and road running is hard to overstate. oregonlive, "Running icon Alberto Salazar’s fall from grace stirs strong emotions across track and field," 5 Oct. 2019 At least five people have reportedly died, and the destruction to homes and infrastructure is hard to overstate. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Send Condolences to the Victims of Hurricane Dorian," 3 Sep. 2019 The risks of a false accusation are real; the consequences are hard to overstate and even harder to undo. Guillermo Contreras, ExpressNews.com, "Alleged ‘copyright troll’ claims unnamed San Antonians are stealing porn movies," 18 July 2019 Get our daily newsletter Mr Imamoglu’s fortitude is hard to overstate. The Economist, "Opponents of Turkey’s erratic president should try harder," 29 June 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

15 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Overstate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstating. Accessed 22 November 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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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