overstress

1 of 2

verb

over·​stress ˌō-vər-ˈstres How to pronounce overstress (audio)
overstressed; overstressing

transitive verb

: to stress (someone or something) excessively: such as
a
: to subject (someone or something) to excessive physical or psychological stress
overstressed himself with too many commitments
… workers often overstress their muscles and tissues to the point where they become inflamed …Predicasts Technology Update
… the alternate action of the wind on either side of the church overstressed the intermediate external pillar, which failed.Mario Salvadori
b
: to place too much emphasis on (something) : overemphasize
overstress the possibility of an unlikely problem
The importance of this point can't be overstressed. = I can't overstress the importance of this point.
overstressed adjective
feeling tired and overstressed

overstress

2 of 2

noun

over·​stress ˈō-vər-ˌstres How to pronounce overstress (audio)
: an excessive amount of physical or psychological stress
overstress on a building's supports
He learned a short left leg had resulted in overstress on the right foot.Hillary Gavan
While a certain level of stress can increase productivity, overstress causes us—at a deep, biological level—to start making choices that are unwise, unsafe, and even unethical.Brian Whetten

Word History

First Known Use

Verb

1872, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overstress was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near overstress

Cite this Entry

“Overstress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstress. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Fashionable Words

  • dog-sunglasses-scarf
  • Which of these items is named for a deadly weapon?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY