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 James’s overwrought construction, a bit borderline itself, often stressed the fabric, fought it. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, 15 May 2022 Republican attacks on her record ranged from concerned to embarrassingly overwrought. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 7 Apr. 2022 To paraphrase fellow nominee Denzel Washington, who tried to calm an overwrought Smith, the devil doesn’t just come for a person during their highest moment, the devil is always lurking. Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2022 Motivated largely by overwrought concerns that universities have become liberal bastions where students are indoctrinated by leftist professors, these bills open the door to all kinds of mischief and abuse. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Dark brown porcelain tile printed with an overwrought acanthus leaf design. Marni Katz, House Beautiful, 27 Apr. 2022 This burlesque of rotten movies and overwrought acting excuses bad choices and lack of control through the dubious notion that audiences are superior to it all. Armond White, National Review, 22 Apr. 2022 Jackson’s book became a sentimental bestseller, influencing Mission Revival architecture and giving rise to the Ramona Pageant, an overwrought stage adaptation performed annually in Hemet to this day. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2022 Rose Matafeo, the thirty-year-old creator and star of the series, delights in dropping her skeptical protagonist into such overwrought rom-com scenarios and then following those tropes to their logical conclusions. The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2022 See More

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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The first known use of overwrought was in 1638

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overwrought.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwrought. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for overwrought


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

Kids Definition of overwrought

: very excited or upset

More from Merriam-Webster on overwrought

Nglish: Translation of overwrought for Spanish Speakers


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