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 Through them, the pool’s overwrought metaphors are stripped away to reveal more grounded tensions and revelatory fantasies. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "Women Crash the Pool Party," 3 July 2019 Yet audiences still thrill to Wagner's overwrought operas, and any museum would kill for a Caravaggio. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "We may never resolve our conflicted feelings about Michael Jackson," 24 June 2019 Screen Junkies—an online movie magazine and YouTube channel, owned and operated by Fandom—earned Internet fame for their snarky Honest Trailer series, mercilessly skewering overwrought film trailers. Ars Technica, "Never Surrender is a heartfelt tribute to sci-fi action comedy Galaxy Quest," 30 Nov. 2019 There was plenty to be grateful for: elegant but not overwrought furnishings, a comfy-looking king bed, tasteful crown molding. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "I’d Stay at This Hotel For the Free Sparkling Water Alone," 11 Nov. 2019 Pro-Trump meme creators defended the video as a political parody, and said the online fury over its screening at the Trump resort was overwrought because it had been played in the corner of a room away from the main conference events. Washington Post, "Violent spoof video of Trump killing his critics shows how memes have reshaped politics," 14 Oct. 2019 While critics were hard on her later novels, arguing that her writing had become overwrought and her plots too tangled, Morrison was undeterred. Thomas Curwenstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Toni Morrison dead at 88: ‘Beloved’ author captured tragic and joyful complexion of life and race," 6 Aug. 2019 Nothing is overthought, overwrought, or underseasoned. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "The Share Plate I Can’t Share in Traverse City, Michigan," 29 Aug. 2019 Joaquin Phoenix, who has starred in four of Gray’s movies, recalls Gray rescuing him from an overwrought moment by telling him to eat a cookie while playing the scene. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "James Gray’s Journey from the Outer Boroughs to Outer Space," 9 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of overwrought was in 1638

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Statistics for overwrought

Last Updated

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overwrought.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwrought. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for overwrought


How to pronounce overwrought (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overwrought

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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