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 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 Those who enter the country legally, then simply overstay. Imelda García, Dallas News, 27 Apr. 2021 Passport validity requirements exist because countries do not want visitors to overstay their visas. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2021 But there’s something to be said for the lean, modest efficiency of a movie that knows how to grab your attention and not overstay its welcome. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 12 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of overstay

1641, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overstay

Time Traveler for overstay

Time Traveler

The first known use of overstay was in 1641

See more words from the same year

Statistics for overstay

Last Updated

26 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overstay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstay. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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