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

His final hearing is a mother and two children from Colombia, accused of overstaying their visas. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "With 'zero tolerance,' new strain on already struggling immigration courts," 9 July 2018 Sirul Azhar Umar has been detained there since 2015 for overstaying his visa, and has recently offered to return to Malaysia to provide evidence in the case if he is promised a pardon. Fox News, "Slain Mongolian model's father seeks Malaysia to reopen case," 19 June 2018 Sajuti came to the United States in 1981 as a Fulbright scholar and overstayed his visa. Mikaela Porter, Courant Community, "Community Rallies Around West Hartford Man In Sanctuary Nearly Eight Months," 9 July 2018 But that wouldn’t account for people who enter the country legally and overstay their visa. Anne Flaherty, The Seattle Times, "Q&A: Do migrants who enter illegally get ‘due process’?," 26 June 2018 The Iraqis targeted by immigration authorities, a mix of Muslims and Christians from the Detroit area and elsewhere in the U.S., were previously deemed eligible for removal because they were convicted of crimes or had overstayed their visas. Erik Larson, Bloomberg.com, "Trump Administration Ordered to Stop Harassing Jailed Iraqis," 20 June 2018 Immigration officials say Jawher, who is originally from Jordan, came to the U.S. legally but overstayed his visa. Fox News, "Clerk admits to federal gun charge in killing over candy," 8 May 2018 This usually means that TPS beneficiaries are undocumented immigrants who were already in the US, those who overstayed a visa, or those who hold some other form of temporary immigration status. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump tells 57,000 Hondurans who’ve lived in the US for 20 years to get out," 4 May 2018 For one thing, this figure doesn’t account for people who overstay their visas. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "The dubious statistic getting the DHS secretary in trouble with President Trump," 29 May 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

5 Oct 2018

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

See 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 state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!