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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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Partly due to the aftermath of the pandemic lockdown, other industry professionals already see an oversupply of concerts. Neil Shah, WSJ, 23 Aug. 2022 But throughout 2021, everything new in music kept getting blotted out by an oversupply of reissued recordings, throwback styles, sentimental music documentaries and nonstop reminders of the anniversaries of fabled concerts and legendary album releases. Washington Post, 28 Dec. 2021 The oversupply of new apartments caused occupancy levels to drop below 95%. Steve Brown, Dallas News, 4 Jan. 2021 In April, an oversupply of oil combined with crashing demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic briefly pushed U.S. oil prices into negative territory for the first time ever. David Jacobs, Washington Examiner, 10 Aug. 2020 Oil traders are betting the vast oversupply of barrels that turned prices negative on April 20 will quickly vanish. Matt Egan, CNN, 9 June 2020 Despite worries about oversupply and lower demand in the commercial sector, the opposite dynamic appears to be taking place in the residential sector. John Walkup, Forbes, 5 May 2023 Samsung just posted a 95 percent decline in profits because of an oversupply of memory and storage chips. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2023 But in the meantime, the state’s oversupply is considered the nation’s worst. Gene Johnson, Fortune, 19 Apr. 2023
Investors want oil companies to focus on returning profits to shareholders, not plowing cash into expensive drilling projects that could just oversupply the market once again. Matt Egan, CNN, 8 July 2021 See More

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 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a supply that is too large : surplus
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