over·​step | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstep How to pronounce overstep (audio) \
overstepped; overstepping; oversteps

Definition of overstep

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Examples of overstep in a Sentence

the principal overstepped her authority in ordering everyone to remain in the unheated school

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Kirsten Gillibrand has actively fought against men who overstep boundaries, and, additionally, not groped anyone herself! Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Female Presidential Candidates Are Still Overlooked," 18 Apr. 2019 Hints of what could await Salah if he's perceived to have overstepped his limits already have surfaced during his quarrels with the federation, sometimes in a subtle fashion, sometimes not so much. Hamza Hendawi, Fox News, "Salah must tread carefully if he's to reform soccer in Egypt," 7 Sep. 2018 But the federal court is being asked to review whether the state Supreme Court itself overstepped and violated the U.S. Constitution. Jonathan Lai, Philly.com, "New Pa. congressional district map upheld for now as federal judges dismiss Republican lawsuit," 19 Mar. 2018 Many Trump advisers have criticized the state’s autonomy, claiming California has overstepped its legal authority in order to push an environmental agenda. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "Trump Administration Presses Plan to Ease Fuel-Economy Standards," 23 July 2018 The government also accused the U.N. team of overstepping its authority in violation of Nicaragua's sovereignty and said the U.N. had not been invited to evaluate the human rights situation, but to accompany a commission working to end the crisis. Luis Manuel Galeano, Fox News, "Nicaragua to expel UN team after critical report," 31 Aug. 2018 And in a 2012 EME Homer City Generation L.P. v. EPA ruling, the court ruled in an opinion authored by Kavanaugh that the agency had overstepped its authority in curbing power plant pollution across state lines. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: The EPA won't change policy after Pruitt. But it might be more transparent about it.," 10 July 2018 Journalism advocacy groups have accused the government of overstepping the First Amendment in its targeting of journalists in leak investigations, a campaign that began during the Obama administration. NBC News, "Top Senate staffer arrested in leak probe, after NY Times reporter's records are seized," 8 June 2018 Manafort had claimed special counsel Robert Mueller's appointment order was too broad, and thus his investigation had overstepped its legal authority. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, "Judge rejects Manafort attempt to dismiss criminal case," 15 May 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overstep

Last Updated

6 May 2019

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Time Traveler for overstep

The first known use of overstep was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for overstep



English Language Learners Definition of overstep

: to go beyond what is proper or allowed by (something)


over·​step | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstep How to pronounce overstep (audio) \
overstepped; overstepping

Kids Definition of overstep

: to step over or beyond : exceed She overstepped her authority.

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More from Merriam-Webster on overstep

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overstep

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overstep

Spanish Central: Translation of overstep

Nglish: Translation of overstep for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overstep for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overstep

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


something valued as if it were money

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