over·​stay | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstā How to pronounce overstay (audio) \
overstayed; overstaying; overstays

Definition of overstay

transitive verb

: to stay beyond the time or the limits of

Examples of overstay in a Sentence

She was guilty of overstaying a student visa.
Recent Examples on the Web The reason is usually that top analysts and top money managers tend to overstay in stocks and in sectors that have performed well and eventually lose ground rapidly when those sectors fall out of favor. Sami J. Karam, National Review, 18 Aug. 2021 When tenants fall behind on rent, Georgia code requires landlords to serve legal notice and file in court to evict them; hotels and vacation rentals have far more leeway to remove or relocate guests who overstay their welcome. Rebecca Burns, The New Republic, 23 June 2021 People apprehended at the border are mostly from Mexico and Central America, while the majority of people who overstay are from other countries. Imelda García, Dallas News, 27 Apr. 2021 Those who overstay their visas or who have entered the country illegally can be held indefinitely, sometimes for years. New York Times, 18 May 2021 But her optimism is tinged with a concern that the dry weather could overstay its welcome. Isabel Koyama, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 May 2021 The full campaign will take you less than three hours which ensures that the game doesn’t overstay its welcome. Luke Winkie, Vulture, 4 May 2021 Fortunately, a family business contains a mediating element that can temper the leader’s tendency to overstay their usefulness: young leaders-in-waiting impatient for their turn. Dennis Jaffe, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 But the majority of the people in the U.S. illegally didn’t overstay a visa, according to independent estimates. USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2021

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

1641, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for overstay

Time Traveler

The first known use of overstay was in 1641

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Dictionary Entries Near overstay



overstay one's welcome

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Statistics for overstay

Last Updated

30 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overstay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstay. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for overstay



English Language Learners Definition of overstay

: to stay longer than you are expected or allowed to stay


over·​stay | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstā How to pronounce overstay (audio) \
overstayed; overstaying

Kids Definition of overstay

: to stay beyond or longer than We overstayed our welcome.

More from Merriam-Webster on overstay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overstay


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