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

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
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 My doctor remained calm and told me not to overthink it. Jeremy Helligar, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2023 Don’t overthink it In our era of Bachelor-style and Instagram proposals, the pressure to make a grand gesture can be overwhelming. Boutayna Chokrane, Vogue, 20 Nov. 2023 How To Serve Savory Corn Pudding Don't overthink it. Karen Schroeder-Rankin, Southern Living, 28 Oct. 2023 There is no need to overthink this or worry about office politics, etc. Roxane Gay, New York Times, 29 Sep. 2023 The source coding practice is best for people who overthink and intellectualize problems instead of finding a solution. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 18 July 2023 Don’t overthink the stupidly obvious sequel titles to stupid movies. Vulture, 18 Sep. 2023 Best not to overthink the simple pleasures here—among them dead-perfect needle drops and a jackrabbit pace. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 13 Sep. 2023 Finding any way to feel productive will be a good use of your energy, but don't overthink the process. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 7 Sep. 2023 See More

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

1628, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overthink was in 1628

Dictionary Entries Near overthink

Cite this Entry

“Overthink.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overthink. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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