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over·​stock ˈō-vər-ˌstäk How to pronounce overstock (audio)
plural overstocks
: a surplus of stock : an excessively large inventory of goods
Dealers were reminded at the fall Comdex show that they could lose their contracts if they were caught selling their overstock of PCs … to unauthorized dealers.David Stamps
A group of women from the fashion industry got together to buy designer overstocks for men, women and children and sell them at a discount on the Internet.Jill Sabulis


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over·​stock ˌō-vər-ˈstäk How to pronounce overstock (audio)
overstocked; overstocking
transitive + intransitive : to stock too much or too many of (something) : to get or have excess inventory of (a good or goods)
The big, reputable department stores frequently overstock designers' wares for Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day.John Heilemann
discounting overstocked merchandise
Don't overstock. Sure, you don't want to run out of product. … But tying up all your capital in inventory can turn your company into the Titanic.Michelle Goodman
transitive : to provide (something or someone) with too large a supply of something
Supermarkets are already overstocking their shelves with traditional Thanksgiving food items.Michelle Singletary
Retailers try to walk a fine line between threatening their profits by overstocking their stores—as happened the last couple of years—and running out of popular gift items, which means lost sales.Jenny Strasburg
… many American cities are overstocked with … office and residential space.Don McLeod
… we agonized about overstocking the list with luxurious French restaurants, big-city restaurants, or those with famous chefs.Gourmet

Examples of overstock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Men’s Full-Zip Jacket Amazon’s overstock storefront is the best place to snag massive discounts on jackets and coats. Alexandra Domrongchai, Travel + Leisure, 23 Jan. 2024 Helly-Hansen Men’s Active Insulated Jacket Amazon’s overstock store is the perfect spot to score massive discounts on winter essentials like jackets and coats. Alexandra Domrongchai, Travel + Leisure, 12 Dec. 2023 Shop for bargains for your vanity For an interesting and yet less costly look for your bathroom, Arango suggests shopping for cabinets at used furniture and overstock stores that are the right size for your bathroom vanity. Michele Lerner, wsj.com, 6 Nov. 2023 Lucky for you, hiding in the depths of Amazon’s overstock storefront is a rain jacket that not only rolls down into a transportable size that can be tossed in your bag, but is also on sale for $30. Alexandra Domrongchai, Travel + Leisure, 16 Sep. 2023 Appliance outlets — which often sell floor models, overstock and open-box (returned) items — also may yield a good deal. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2023 Amazon will then direct you to its overstock home page. John Thompson, Men's Health, 1 Sep. 2023 A word to the wise, though: The overstock section tends to sell out quickly. Ellen McAlpine, Men's Health, 8 Sep. 2023 Through its green initiative, Half Price Books has eliminated plastic bags at all of its stores, set aside dedicated science and nature shelves, uses recyclable materials whenever possible and donates overstock inventory to nonprofit agencies. Dina Kaur, The Arizona Republic, 26 July 2023
After 1981, the company abandoned one of its identifying traits and began to feature some items that were not specially selected but were overstocked and could be sold cheaply. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023 The company was overstocked last year because consumer spending slowed, so management cut prices to move products out. Trefis Team, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 The retailer, one of several that chartered ships in 2021 to get around port bottlenecks, ended up overstocked last year with goods such as comfortable clothes and small appliances that were popular during the pandemic but fell out of fashion as consumers returned to offices and restaurants. Liz Young, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2023 Now the region is overstocked and is looking to sell water elsewhere. Michael Smolens, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 July 2023 Retailers ended up overstocked in the second half of last year as consumer spending shifted, and many are still coping with excess inventories. Paul Berger, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2023 Now, many retailers are more cautious about ordering to avoid overstocking. Liz Young, WSJ, 15 Mar. 2023 At the same time, Day’s vision to overstock his quarterback room with this talent accounted for exactly this moment. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 3 Dec. 2021 Today, many apparel brands—including Levi’s—have regained pricing power, partly because retailers are unable to overstock inventory and because last year’s stimulus has left many shoppers’ wallets fatter. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overstock.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1710, in the meaning defined above


1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of overstock was in 1648

Dictionary Entries Near overstock

Cite this Entry

“Overstock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstock. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: to stock more than there is need or room for
stores overstocked with toys

More from Merriam-Webster on overstock

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