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
Recent Examples on the Web Republican attorneys general from six states wrote to the new president, warning him not to overstep his authority. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis, Anchorage Daily News, "As Biden vows monumental action on climate change, a fight with the fossil fuel industry has only begun," 28 Jan. 2021 But first ladies also have to walk a fine line not to overstep their boundaries. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Jill Biden set to redefine traditions of the office of the first lady," 25 Dec. 2020 Others have criticized her for using her platform to overstep the boundaries of her expertise. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, USA TODAY, "'A scary time': Researchers react to agents raiding home of former Florida COVID-19 data scientist," 10 Dec. 2020 The legal criteria for overcoming the Supremacy Clause have been made clear in a series of cases dating to the 19th century, when the logic held that unruly state authorities were trying to overstep their bounds. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "Prosecuting Park Police officers in Bijan Ghaisar slaying faces significant legal hurdle," 16 Oct. 2020 One by one, GOP committee members used their time to make opening statements to predict that the panel's Democrats would overstep on the issue. Laurie Kellman, Star Tribune, "Takeaways: Coronavirus at center of Supreme Court hearings," 12 Oct. 2020 But despite their label, these tools can still overstep the inherent limitations of flesh and bone. Kelsey D. Atherton, Scientific American, "What “Less Lethal” Weapons Actually Do," 23 June 2020 Protesters have taken to the streets in recent days, saying that political leaders, especially governors, have overstepped their authority by closing down the economy and putting American jobs and livelihoods at risk. John Mccormick, WSJ, "Coronavirus Means the Era of Big Government Is…Back," 26 Apr. 2020 Ignorance of the law doesn’t count as a reasonable excuse when boundaries are overstepped. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Red Sox investigation does little to solve video problem," 22 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for overstep

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overstep

Last Updated

9 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overstep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstep. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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