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

Wool proponents say they have been unfairly lumped in with crocodile hunters and mink farmers by overzealous do-gooders who fundamentally misunderstand what goes into sheep farming, not to mention the superior properties of wool. Sarah Nassauer, WSJ, "Fiber Optics: Wool Lovers Battle Animal-Rights Crowd Over Sheep Shearing," 7 Jan. 2019 Apart from the gluttony of my French jaunt, the other reason for my return was an unfortunate incident at a Bruno Mars concert: I was stampeded by a group of overzealous fans and broke my wrist and back. Irena Medavoy, Town & Country, "How to Detox Like a Hollywood Power Player," 5 Nov. 2018 This caused me to be a bit overzealous on the other, which wasn’t having it. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Six Ways to Extract Stuck Bolts—and the Nightmare of Trying Them All in a Row," 15 Oct. 2018 In my experience, some classmates tend to label young feminists as irrational or overzealous or angry. Lily Genovese, Glamour, "8 Things You Should Know About High School Feminists," 7 Aug. 2018 Samsung’s not the only company prone to overzealous promotion of its own products that lead to leaks. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Samsung accidentally leaks another look at the Galaxy Note 9," 2 Aug. 2018 How to Use 'Em: Don’t get overzealous—both retinol and vitamin C can be a tad irritating at first, so start slowly to build up your skin’s tolerance. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The Anti-Aging Cheat Sheet for Really, Really Lazy People," 31 July 2018 The complaints office concluded in its own report in February that officers were overzealous in their use of pepper spray and other crowd-control tools. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "Independent police group criticizes D.C. officers’ handling of Inauguration Day riots," 10 July 2018 Patti Blagojevich, the ex-governor’s wife, appeared Saturday on Jeanine Pirro Fox News, a cable news network program that Trump is known to watch, to complain that federal authorities were overzealous in their prosecution of her husband. Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY, "Ex-Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich files paperwork asking Trump to commute prison sentence," 5 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

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for overzealous

The first known use of overzealous was circa 1628

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More Definitions for overzealous



English Language Learners Definition of overzealous

: too eager or enthusiastic : too zealous

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).


a servile follower or underling

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