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

Yet in at least two instances, the vice president, Mr. Ayers and other aides have badly overstepped. New York Times, "Pence Is Trying to Control Republican Politics. Trump Aides Aren’t Happy.," 14 May 2018 Judges previously determined the CFPB overstepped its bounds in assessing that fine. NBC News, "Appeals court upholds structure of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," 31 Jan. 2018 Pennsylvania Republicans, who claim that the Supreme Court is overstepping its bounds by usurping the duties of a state legislature, will not go down without a fight. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "New Pennsylvania Congressional Map Is a Big Win for Democrats," 19 Feb. 2018 President’s Domain Using a rare procedural maneuver, the Justice Department contended that the federal judge in Eugene, Oregon, who refused to dismiss the case in November 2016, had overstepped her authority. Kartikay Mehrotra, Bloomberg.com, "Teenagers Defeat Trump’s Move to Kill Climate Change Lawsuit," 7 Mar. 2018 The decision caused heartburn in the district's well-off seaside communities, which had been pretty clearly divided between the two candidates already, and led to new accusations that the national party was overstepping its bounds. Dan Merica, CNN, "Crisis averted: How the Democrats avoided disaster in California," 6 June 2018 Manafort's attorneys had argued that Mueller overstepped because the charges Manafort faces in Virginia — bank fraud and failure to file tax returns related to his business dealings — have nothing to do with election meddling. NBC News, "Judge praised by Trump refuses to dismiss indictment against Manafort," 26 June 2018 The majority rejected arguments that Trump overstepped his presidential authority and that his targeting of Muslim-majority countries violated the Constitution’s ban on religious discrimination. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Supreme Court upholds Trump's travel ban, bolstering president's power to block new arrivals," 26 June 2018 Manafort has alleged in court that Mueller's office overstepped its authority by charging him with crimes related to his work before the 2016 campaign. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, "Mueller team says it has not gone rogue," 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

4 Nov 2018

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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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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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