over·​zeal·​ous ˌō-vər-ˈze-ləs How to pronounce overzealous (audio)
: too zealous : having or showing too much zeal : excessively eager, enthusiastic, or fervent
overzealous parents
overzealous workers
… another version of the overzealous monitoring that has produced kids who leave for college without ever having crossed the street by themselves.Peggy Orenstein
The village saw the orders as unwarranted interference from an overzealous state bureaucracy and promptly appealed.Joe Treen and S. Avery Brown
overzealously adverb
… has been frequently accused by its critics of acting recklessly, overzealously, and even, at times, illegally. Steve Lustgarden
overzealousness noun
Jewell was annoyed that press descriptions of him always emphasized his "overzealousness"; he considers himself a man of details. Marie Brenner

Examples of overzealous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to portraying Alec Baldwin's overzealous assistant in 30 Rock, Pancholy also voiced Baljeet in Phineas and Ferb. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 18 Apr. 2024 Mating only occurs during specific times of the year, and female frogs are often largely outnumbered by their male counterparts, so the rivalry is born of necessity — better to be overzealous than sleep on the prize. Sofia Quaglia, Discover Magazine, 6 Nov. 2023 The man, perhaps to get this overzealous church lady to leave him be, finally accepts the socks and hands back the rest. Heller McAlpin, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Apr. 2024 A couple of overzealous fans are no match for Zendaya and Tom Holland’s relationship. Shania Russell, EW.com, 9 Apr. 2024 From stories that explore the terrors of everything from demonic possession to overzealous faith to the thin line between belief and uncertainty, here is TIME's take on the 15 best religious horror movies. Megan McCluskey, TIME, 5 Apr. 2024 The idea is more to create a chilling effect, bringing overzealous plate loaders back to reason. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2024 Charlie shot 16-over 86 in the first round, while dealing with overzealous fans and shaky security while on the course. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 27 Mar. 2024 For a whole host of reasons — parental fear, overzealous child welfare departments, car-centric city planning — kids generally have a lot less freedom and independence than their parents did. Michelle Goldberg, The Mercury News, 21 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overzealous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1628, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overzealous was circa 1628

Dictionary Entries Near overzealous

Cite this Entry

“Overzealous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overzealous. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

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