over·​stay | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstā \
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

Today, the majority of people who settle in the U.S. without authorization arrive legally and then overstay their visas. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "An Immigration Compromise That Just Might Work," 18 Dec. 2018 The 2016 overstay report — the first one published by Homeland Security in at least two decades — stated 739,478 people who entered the U.S. via plane or ship overstayed their visas between October 2015 and September 2016. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "More than 700K foreign nationals overstayed visas in 2017, DHS says," 8 Aug. 2018 Eight million had entered the country without legal permission or overstayed their visas. NBC News, "Bill aimed at protecting immigrant workers reporting violations introduced in Congress," 1 June 2018 For that matter, with enough money, a migrant could just get a flight from the nearby Tijuana airport and then overstay their visa. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "'Border Door' provided a poetic welcome to immigrants 30 years ago. An art show brings back its message," 4 May 2018 If they are acquitted, they may not be freed right away as prosecutors could appeal as well as push forward with separate charges for overstaying their visas. Fox News, "Key ruling looms for women on trial for Kim Jong Nam murder," 15 Aug. 2018 Under President Trump, DHS has been eliminating temporary status programs one by one, arguing they were never designed to grant long-term residency to foreigners who may have arrived illegally or overstayed their visas. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Homeland Security ends protections for 50,000 Hondurans living in US since 1999," 4 May 2018 In its rejection letter, ICE wrote that Mendez overstayed a visa and, as a result, had forfeited his right to a hearing before an immigration judge. Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati.com, "Appeals court delays deportation of paraplegic boy's caregiver," 12 Jan. 2018 As border apprehensions have declined, estimates show a growing proportion of the undocumented population legally entered the country on visas but overstayed the time limits on those visas. Lori Robertson, USA TODAY, "Illegal immigration: Separating the facts from fiction," 30 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of overstay

1641, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overstay

Statistics for overstay

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overstay

The first known use of overstay was in 1641

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
overstayed; overstaying

Kids Definition of overstay

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

More from Merriam-Webster on overstay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overstay

Comments on overstay

What made you want to look up overstay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a person who helps groups work together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Liar, Liar Quiz

  • alt-5761dbe2ba986
  • Someone who pretends to be sick in order to avoid work is a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!