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

Definition of overwork

transitive verb

1 : to cause to work too hard, too long, or to exhaustion overworked the horses
2a : 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

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Other Words from overwork

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web This problem — perhaps the result of overworking the material, which has been in development around the country since 2013 — emphasizes the script’s essaylike qualities at the expense of its playlike ones. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In ‘American Moor,’ an Insider’s Guide to ‘Othello’," 8 Sep. 2019 Corrections officers have long complained about being overworked with 60-plus hour work weeks and mandatory overtime. CBS News, "Attorney general reassigns director of federal Bureau of Prisons after Jeffrey Epstein suicide," 19 Aug. 2019 Dogs were overworked in the desert, suffered hip dysplasia and other conditions. oregonlive, "U.S. officials knew bomb-sniffing dogs were dying from neglect in Jordan. They sent more.," 16 Sep. 2019 Their prowess ensures the correct amount of pressure is applied during the treatment, so your skin isn't overworked. Taylore Glynn, Harper's BAZAAR, "Eight Skin-Transforming Secrets from a Korean Facialist," 22 Aug. 2019 Bell overworked his bullpen and that rent has come due. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: It's time to be realistic and stop chasing fool's gold with these Reds," 22 July 2019 For years, Amazon’s critics have chided the company for underpaying and overworking warehouse employees. Jay Greene, Washington Post, "Amazon’s strategy to win over congressional critics: tours of its giant warehouses," 22 Aug. 2019 Oakland’s bullpen was overworked in a long four-game series that included an extra inning win against the Houston Astros, and should benefit from Monday’s off day. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "What A.J. Puk’s arrival could mean for the Athletics’ postseason push," 19 Aug. 2019 Do this recipe in 2-3 rounds so as not to overwork the blender. NBC News, "4-ingredient strawberry ice cream you can make in a blender," 5 July 2019

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

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for overwork

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for overwork

The first known use of overwork was in 1530

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More Definitions for overwork


How to pronounce overwork (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overwork

: to work too hard
: to use (something) too much or too often
: to work on (something) too much


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

Kids Definition of overwork

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to work or cause to work too much or too hard The captain overworked the crew.
2 : to use too much or too often overworked phrases



Kids Definition of overwork (Entry 2 of 2)

: too much work They were exhausted from overwork.
over·​work | \ ˌō-vər-ˈwərk How to pronounce overwork (audio) \

Medical Definition of overwork

: to cause to work too hard, too long, or to exhaustion

intransitive verb

: to work too much or too long

Other Words from overwork

overwork noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on overwork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overwork

Spanish Central: Translation of overwork

Nglish: Translation of overwork for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overwork for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overwork

What made you want to look up overwork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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