over·​think | \ ˌō-vər-ˈthiŋk How to pronounce overthink (audio) \
overthought\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈthȯt How to pronounce overthink (audio) \; overthinking

Definition of overthink

transitive + intransitive

: to think too much about (something) : to put too much time into thinking about or analyzing (something) in a way that is more harmful than helpful overthink a situation/problem someone who overthinks and worries too much "I was a terrible actor when I went to New York. I was scared. I would overprepare, sometimes overthink a role."— Paul Newman For a while now, I've been finding current fiction hard to read: airlessly competent, relentlessly put-together, overthought.— David Gates

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Other Words from overthink

overthinker noun, plural overthinkers
But the problem is I'm an overthinker. I contemplate and consider, deliberate and debate things small and large in my life. Simple things become complicated and easy decisions become complex. — Alyssa Meier

Examples of overthink in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For one, the Gophers can't spend time with their families over the holiday break during the pandemic, which leaves even more time to overthink an opponent. Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune, "Gophers men turn their full attention to Iowa," 22 Dec. 2020 According to Kerr, the writer in New York who names all of her group chats, the secret to chat name nomenclature is to not overthink it. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Why Group Chats—and What We Name Them—Are Helping Us Get Through the Pandemic," 21 Oct. 2020 Simply put, a lot of people who have a hard time with pills tend to overthink it or feel anxious and tense for a variety of reasons. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Swallow a Pill If You Find It Completely Impossible," 13 Oct. 2020 The feel player, however, tries not to overthink things too much. Beth Ann Nichols, The Arizona Republic, "Bianca Pagdanganan cards second consecutive 65 at KPMG to contend in major debut," 11 Oct. 2020 Find a style that works for you, and don’t overthink it. Heather Muir Maffei, Health.com, "8 Real Women Reveal How They Learned to Embrace Their Gray Hair," 16 Sep. 2020 Think of interior design as a process but never overthink it. Allison Duncan, House Beautiful, "Treasure Hunting Tips and Tricks from the Design Duo Behind Pierce & Ward," 8 Sep. 2020 So just mark this down as a win and don’t overthink it. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "Do you want a 2020 Browns prediction you can trust? Well, there’s no guarantee this is it," 8 Sep. 2020 Don't overthink it — wedding card messages don't need to be long at all. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, "What to Write in a Wedding Card," 24 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overthink.' 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 overthink

1628, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for overthink

Time Traveler

The first known use of overthink was in 1628

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Statistics for overthink

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overthink.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overthink. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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