over·​zeal·​ous | \ ˌō-vər-ˈze-ləs How to pronounce overzealous (audio) \

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 British critics accuse the Europeans of being overly rigorous and legalistic in their interpretation of the protocol, and of being overzealous in the checks required. New York Times, 21 July 2021 Standing Rock camp participants face increasingly ridiculous charges and jail sentences by overzealous prosecutors. Nick Martin, The New Republic, 10 June 2021 Trump asked over and over in the ensuing days, suggesting that the 35-year-old Air Force veteran was the victim of an overzealous Capitol Police officer whose identity was being covered up. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 Steve Harmon, played by Kelvin Harrison Jr., is a 17-year-old honor student in love with photography, but finds himself in court being portrayed as a monster by an overzealous prosecutor for his alleged role in a corner store robbery. Shelby Stewart, Chron, 12 May 2021 The swing and the overzealous approach showed that Torres was looking for something to pull. BostonGlobe.com, 6 June 2021 The cowboy hat is a caricature of overzealous machismo. Washington Post, 20 July 2021 The fire marshal was not yet overzealous in demanding aisles inside the Barn, and attendance for that noon start on Saturday was 16,193. Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 Like so many recent action movies, ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ is hampered by an overzealous editing style that denies viewers the satisfaction of bodies in motion. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for overzealous

Time Traveler

The first known use of overzealous was circa 1628

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Last Updated

29 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overzealous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overzealous. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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


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