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over·​sup·​ply ˈō-vər-sə-ˌplī How to pronounce oversupply (audio)
plural oversupplies
: an excessive supply : an amount of something (such as a good) that is more than is needed or wanted
… if there is an oversupply of herring on a given day, the shrewd fishmonger will lower his price …Robert Kuttner
Although this means better and cheaper jug wines for consumers, the 122,000 acres of wine grapes coming into production over the next three years could well lead to oversupplies.Daniel Sogg
an oversupply of applicants for the available jobs
Information is in oversupply, and the audience wants someone who can help make sense of it.Joanne Ostrow


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over·​sup·​ply ˌō-vər-sə-ˈplī How to pronounce oversupply (audio)
oversupplied; oversupplying

transitive verb

: to supply (something, such as a commodity) in excess
The OPEC nations have been oversupplying crude oil for more than two years, seemingly in an attempt to drive their main competitors—US shale oil and gas producers—out of business.Jackson Stiles
: to provide (someone or something) with more than is needed or wanted
manufacturers oversupplying the market
oversupplied adjective
… the inevitable result of spilling a million workers into an already oversupplied low-wage labor market … Jeff Faux

Examples of oversupply in a Sentence

Noun an oversupply of new homes is helping to drive down housing prices
Recent Examples on the Web
But China is already battling domestic pork woes: an oversupply of pigs is pushing down prices and driving the deflation that is crippling its economy. Harriet Marsden, The Week Uk, theweek, 24 June 2024 In addition to a Chinese luxury consumer spooked by economic downturn, this slump could be also caused by oversupply which is a likely cause for sales declines at Chinese luxury malls, as suggested by a recent Bernstein report. Lily Templeton, WWD, 20 June 2024
Governments must also address the incentives pharmaceutical companies have for profiting from oversupplying and overpromoting opioids. Keith Humphreys, Foreign Affairs, 16 Apr. 2018 More recently, the U.S. and other countries in Asia and Europe have accused China of oversupplying certain sectors of the market with cheap goods meant to undercut international competitors. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 16 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for oversupply 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oversupply.' 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


1833, in the meaning defined above


1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oversupply was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near oversupply

Cite this Entry

“Oversupply.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oversupply. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a supply that is too large : surplus
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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