over·​wrought | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrȯt How to pronounce overwrought (audio) , 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

Meanwhile, their softer brand of R&B provides a sturdier backdrop for the overwrought lyrics a breakup. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "BTS' 50 Best Songs: Critics' Picks," 12 June 2018 Red carpet hair is an eternal study in balance: too done and the look reads overwrought, but slapdash can easily skew more messy than romantic. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Emma Stone Has a Disney Princess Moment—And It Comes Down to This Tiny Detail," 19 Nov. 2018 That film’s overwrought tone did not suit Bronson, whose trademark quiet strength competed with the theatrics and lost. Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Charles Bronson, man of dimensions: Much more to him than ‘Death Wish’," 28 Feb. 2018 The less said about the overwrought 1999 adaptation, the better, despite a stellar cast that included Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Owen Wilson, and Lili Taylor. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Haunting of Hill House," 22 Oct. 2018 Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy may be overplayed (not to mention overwrought), but Canellakis salvaged it for the ears of the jaded. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "Karina Canellakis at Curtis Institute stuns with precision in bold selection," 30 Apr. 2018 The reimagined four-posters replace overwrought Victorian spindles with unconventional, totem-like columns. Kathryn O’shea-evans, WSJ, "Modern Romance: State-of-the-Art Spindle Beds," 4 Oct. 2018 The clash of patterns and textures could have been too much, but registered as sumptuous instead of seeming overwrought. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Céline Dion Goes for Baroque in a Suit Fit for Royalty," 4 Aug. 2018 With a little softening and finessing, the houses blend right into Kinkade’s overwrought pastoral paintings. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Iconic modern houses get the Thomas Kinkade treatment," 24 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for overwrought

The first known use of overwrought was in 1638

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English Language Learners Definition of overwrought

: very excited or upset


over·​wrought | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrȯt How to pronounce overwrought (audio) \

Kids Definition of overwrought

: very excited or upset

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More from Merriam-Webster on overwrought

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overwrought

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overwrought

Spanish Central: Translation of overwrought

Nglish: Translation of overwrought for Spanish Speakers

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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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