over·zeal·ous | \ ˌō-vər-ˈze-ləs \

Definition of overzealous 

: 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

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Other words from overzealous

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

Some argue that the campaign has become overzealous and ill-mannered. Vidhi Doshi, Washington Post, "Mumbai’s plastic ban carries costly fines and jail sentences for offenders," 26 June 2018 His overzealous and often manic delivery of questions, puns and punchlines is part of its appeal, despite those occasional technical difficulties. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "How the HQ Trivia app became must-see TV," 31 Jan. 2018 The governor proclaimed a two-day holiday, the police chief closed all liquor stores and the Red Cross set up medical stations to treat the overzealous. Retroindy@indystar.com, Indianapolis Star, "Retro Indy: VJ day on Monument Circle," 8 Jan. 2014 Cordray, appointed by President Barack Obama, was criticized by congressional Republicans as being overzealous but was lauded by consumer advocates for aggressively going after banks for wrongdoing. NBC News, "Trump to nominate OMB official to lead Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," 17 June 2018 But that second group is ruining the efforts of the first group because some of its overzealous members, beyond staging protests in front of chamber members’ businesses, have resorted to threats of violence and even death. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Rochelle Riley: Death threats won't end gerrymandering in Michigan," 13 July 2018 Therefore, watch out for overzealous comments, often with spelling and punctuation errors. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "How to avoid a bad shopping trip on Amazon," 7 June 2018 Trayvon Martin was walking home the night he was killed by an overzealous neighborhood watchman. Jeneé Osterheldt, kansascity, "Would this have happened to a white man? Rapper arrested just for wanting to go home | The Kansas City Star," 16 May 2018 Build up America’s economy, freeing it from years of overzealous regulation (peace through strength). The Economist, "Donald Trump is undermining the rules-based international order," 7 June 2018

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

circa 1628, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overzealous

Last Updated

15 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for overzealous

The first known use of overzealous was circa 1628

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More from Merriam-Webster on overzealous

Nglish: Translation of overzealous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on overzealous

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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