over·​step | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstep \
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

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Critics has said the move oversteps his authority to change federal immigration laws. Alicia A. Caldwell, WSJ, "Immigrants Traveling as Families Arrested on Mexican Border Increase 38% in October," 9 Nov. 2018 The critics also argue, though, that the Trump administration is overstepping its statutory boundaries because the requirement would reduce eligibility rather than expand it. Phil Galewitz, Washington Post, "5 Things To Know About Medicaid Work Requirements," 14 June 2018 Rose Acre Farms sued, and a few years later a federal judge ruled that the government had overstepped its boundaries and had to compensate the company for income lost as a result of regulations. Kristine Phillips, Philly.com, "Salmonella sickens nearly three dozen people following recall of more than 200 million eggs," 12 May 2018 The lawyers believe the government overstepped its bounds by executing a warrant at a lawyer’s office and have contended the government violated the attorney-client privilege between Mr. Cohen and his clients. Maggie Haberman And Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times, "Giuliani to Join Trump’s Legal Team," 19 Apr. 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

11 Feb 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 \
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

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excited commotion or publicity

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