over·wrought | \ˌō-vər-ˈrȯt, ˌō-və-\

Definition of overwrought 

1 : extremely excited : agitated

2 : elaborated to excess : overdone

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Examples of overwrought in a Sentence

The witness became overwrought as she described the crime. became overwrought when she heard that her child was missing

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s nothing overwrought about these five minutes of music, just the raw ache of what might have been. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Deafheaven review: A duel between catharsis and melodrama on 'Ordinary Corrupt Human Love'," 13 July 2018 Next to their louche irreverence, the language surrounding them has felt clumsy and overwrought from the beginning. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 The new cabin is airy, and the design never feels overwrought. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2018 Honda Accord proves there’s still life in the family sedan," 15 June 2018 Its philosophizing can seem at times overly facile, or overwrought. Stephen Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "New tech books: ‘Conspiracy,’ ‘Broad Band,’ ‘The Truth Machine’," 1 June 2018 By John Sleezer | Vahe Gregorian The bullpen squandered an overwrought yet productive outing from Duffy, who struck out nine and yielded six hits. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals bullpen, dormant offense spoil Danny Duffy's start in narrow loss to Twins," 9 July 2018 Most of the accusations were overwrought, but the barrage was overwhelming. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Scott Pruitt will always be a hero to his right-wing fans.," 6 July 2018 With the dress code for the event leaning towards slinky sexiness or overwrought glamour, guests tend to pull out revealing couture, but Stewart kept things cool. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Kristen Stewart Breaks the Cannes Red Carpet Rules (Again) With Surprisingly Chic Results," 17 May 2018 And after his overwrought performance in the game that vanquished Mexico on Monday, Neymar hatred has traveled quite a bit farther than that. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The Annoying Genius Who Makes the World Cup Worth Watching," 5 July 2018

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

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for overwrought

past participle of overwork

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for overwrought

The first known use of overwrought was in 1638

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More Definitions for overwrought



English Language Learners Definition of overwrought

: very excited or upset


over·wrought | \ˌō-vər-ˈrȯt \

Kids Definition of overwrought

: very excited or upset

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Comments on overwrought

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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