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 Kagan and Breyer joined him, though, in a 7–2 ruling that rejected the A.C.A.’s expansion of Medicaid, arguing that the Obama Administration had overstepped constitutional bounds by trying to compel states to participate in the program. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "Is the Supreme Court’s Fate in Elena Kagan’s Hands?," 11 Nov. 2019 President Trump ended the program in September 2017, saying Obama had overstepped his authority and setting off a chain of events that would eventually kick the case up to the high court. Tatiana Sanchez, SFChronicle.com, "Dreamers’ lives in U.S. at center of case coming before Supreme Court," 11 Nov. 2019 Pittsburgh tried enforcing an assault-weapons ban in 1993, but the state Legislature quickly took action to invalidate the measure, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that city officials had overstepped. Washington Post, "Judge tosses Pittsburgh gun laws passed after massacre," 29 Oct. 2019 The lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice argues that California overstepped its legal authority by forging an agreement with another country designed to limit air pollution and climate-warming greenhouse gases. Los Angeles Times, "Trump administration sues California over cap-and-trade agreement with Canada," 23 Oct. 2019 The British Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament until after the Brexit deadline was unlawful, and that Mr. Johnson had overstepped his powers. Charlotte Cowles, New York Times, "This Week in Business: The Economics of Impeachment," 29 Sep. 2019 His son, one of Clemson’s premier receivers, must be overstepping the bounds of a rehabilitation plan set by the school. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "How Amari Rodgers Beat the Odds With a Remarkably Fast ACL Recovery," 26 Sep. 2019 Other administration officials were surprised that Haley had overstepped. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "WH response to Russia sanctions confusion: Blame Nikki Haley," 17 Apr. 2018 Fox challenged the punitive damages decision, arguing that the arbitrator overstepped. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "Landmark profit dispute over ‘Bones’ TV show ends in a settlement with Fox," 11 Sep. 2019

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

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Overstep.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstepped. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for overstep


How to pronounce overstep (audio)

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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