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

Definition of overthink

: 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 Sometimes the Ravens tend to overthink on special teams. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 23-17 win over Bengals," 13 Oct. 2019 From the Euphoria mania-stoking glitter eyes to the cool and not overthought hair, the not-so-subtle subtext was clear: Don’t overthink it and have fun—all night long. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Glitter Is a Girl’s Best Friend—And a Worthy Concealer Alternative, According to the Fendi Runway," 19 Sep. 2019 But, after much debate, the show’s warm and gooey center has to be the responsible, overthinking and slightly neurotic Randall, thanks to the nuanced brilliance of Sterling K. Brown. Washington Post, "Don Draper, Eleven, Selina Meyer lead AP roles of the decade," 12 Dec. 2019 The wise move is to take the Under and try not to overthink it. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Pittsburgh Penguins at St. Louis Blues odds, picks and best bets," 30 Nov. 2019 Don't overthink things: Clemson remains the team to beat in the chase for the national championship. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Clemson remains team to beat for the national championship," 16 Sep. 2019 Being fearless and having fun, not overthinking anything. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions 'fearless' RBs going to play 'like our hair’s on fire'," 24 Oct. 2019 In November, traders took fright after overthinking a comment from Nvidia Corp. CFO Colette Kress that sales for chips used in consoles would be minimal due to the normal seasonal cycle. Washington Post, "There’s More to Nintendo’s Game Than Gadget Sales," 25 Sep. 2019 All problem solvers and problem inventors have had the experience of thinking, and then overthinking, themselves into a dead end. Dan Rockmore, The New Yorker, "The Myth and Magic of Generating New Ideas," 7 Nov. 2019

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

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overthink.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overthink. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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