overwork

verb

over·​work ˌō-vər-ˈwərk How to pronounce overwork (audio)
overworked; overworking; overworks

transitive verb

1
: to cause to work too hard, too long, or to exhaustion
overworked the horses
2
a
: to work too much on
overwork bread dough
b
: to make excessive use of
overworked tunes

intransitive verb

: to work too much or too long : overdo
overwork noun

Examples of overwork in a Sentence

The whole crew seemed exhausted, probably from overworking. The captain routinely overworked the crew. He overworks the melody in the song. If you overwork the dough, the bread will be tough.
Recent Examples on the Web Where other artists’ images were heavy-handed, overworked, often tediously moralistic, Whistler’s pictures look provisional, disinterested (in the impartial, non-sentimental sense) and (to our eyes) remarkably modern. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2024 While that may seem warm, keeping your HVAC on a cooler setting for a long period of time can overwork it, leading to a higher energy bill. Joseph Hernandez, Kansas City Star, 1 Apr. 2024 Staff turnover is high The former workers say the departures have left a smaller staff of mostly new hires and a depleted volunteer corps overworked as care for animals is stretched thin. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 28 Mar. 2024 Khan said that the industry is committed to safety, but mistakes can happen, especially if staff are overworked or not properly trained. Ella Nilsen, CNN, 20 Mar. 2024 Given Miller’s injury history, manager Mark Kotsay is wary of overworking the gifted prospect. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 25 Mar. 2024 Boeing workers, whose output has been under a whole lot of scrutiny lately, have recently complained about being overworked and underpaid. Melvin Backman, Quartz, 8 Mar. 2024 The audit follows a New York Times investigation that documented widespread breakdowns in the city’s mental health care system for homeless people, including some among treatment teams that are often overworked and underpaid. James Barron, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Villanueva has been particularly vocal about the vacancies, pointing to the alarming rash of suicides within the department as a sign that staffers are desperately overworked. Rebecca Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024

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

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of overwork was in 1530

Dictionary Entries Near overwork

Cite this Entry

“Overwork.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwork. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

overwork

verb
over·​work -ˈwərk How to pronounce overwork (audio)
1
: to work or cause to work too hard or long
overworked the crew
2
: to use too much
overworked phrases
overwork noun

Medical Definition

overwork

transitive verb
over·​work ˌō-vər-ˈwərk How to pronounce overwork (audio)
: to cause to work too hard, too long, or to exhaustion

intransitive verb

: to work too much or too long
overwork noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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