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 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 The Food Marketing Institute argued the ruling overstepped congressional intent and asked the Supreme Court to allow businesses to decide the need for confidentiality. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court limits access to government records in loss for Argus Leader, a USA TODAY Network affiliate," 24 June 2019 The latest lawsuit comes just two days after National Amusements sued CBS, arguing that the company’s board members are overstepping their authority. Meg James, latimes.com, "CBS shareholders sue Shari Redstone, National Amusements," 31 May 2018 The letter asserts that California is overstepping its authority under the Clean Air Act, which allows it to write statewide air pollution rules, by attempting to set fuel economy standards and to influence regulations nationwide. New York Times, "Justice Dept. Investigates California Emissions Pact That Embarrassed Trump," 6 Sep. 2019 Yale-Loehr said legal challenges to the rule are likely to question whether the agency overstepped its authority to change immigration rules and policies without going through Congress. Elvia Malagón, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois sues over new rule that could deny green cards to those on public aid: ‘It’s another attempt ... to intimidate immigrants’," 15 Aug. 2019 The lawyers contended Polster has overstepped his authority and created the appearance of bias. Anchorage Daily News, "Drug companies seek removal of judge in landmark opioid case," 14 Sep. 2019 In other words, argue for your rights, but don’t overstep the bounds of good taste and decorum. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Justice Gorsuch calls for ‘civility,’ always a code for shutting down free speech," 13 Sep. 2019 Tom Ryan, a lawyer who represented the whistleblower who complained that Horne inappropriately used official resources, said Grisham overstepped the boundaries separating official and campaign duties while working for Horne. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Stephanie Grisham, new White House press secretary, had controversial Arizona career," 25 June 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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Statistics for overstep

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for overstep

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

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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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Comments on overstep

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a calculated move

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