over·​state | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstāt How to pronounce overstate (audio) \
overstated; overstating; overstates

Definition of overstate

transitive verb

: to state in too strong terms : exaggerate overstated his qualifications

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Other Words from overstate

overstatement \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈstāt-​mənt How to pronounce overstate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for overstate



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Examples of overstate in a Sentence

It would be overstating the case to say that it was a matter of life or death. it appears you've somewhat overstated your computer skills, if you can't find the “on” button!
Recent Examples on the Web The impact of Chez Panisse on local farming is difficult to overstate. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Oct. 2021 The impact of the experiment on modern science is difficult to overstate. Virginia Grant, Scientific American, 29 Sep. 2021 The launch may have been largely ignored by the media, but its significance is hard to overstate. Martin Leo Rivers, Forbes, 25 Sep. 2021 The value of such a reduction in a prison sentence is hard to overstate, says Courtney Wilson, who was incarcerated in an Arizona prison from June 2018 to September 2019. Jimmy Jenkins, The Arizona Republic, 20 Sep. 2021 Originating as internet novelties 15 years ago, social media platforms have altered everything from democracy to human relationships in ways that are hard to overstate. Hbs Working Knowledge, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 First, never overstate a summer-league roster, especially in a season such as this, when there is no clear pathway to playing time on the regular-season roster, or even anything more than a two-way contract. Ira Winderman, sun-sentinel.com, 17 Aug. 2021 Better to alert the driver and perhaps overstate the case via the sharpness of the horn versus allowing a bad predicament to turn into an injurious car crash. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 But the post appears to overstate Congress' vaccination rate. Devon Link, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2021

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

1792, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for overstate

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The first known use of overstate was in 1792

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Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overstate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overstate. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of overstate

: to say that (something) is larger or greater than it really is


over·​state | \ ˌō-vər-ˈstāt How to pronounce overstate (audio) \
overstated; overstating

Kids Definition of overstate

: to put in too strong terms : exaggerate He overstated the usefulness of his invention.

More from Merriam-Webster on overstate

Nglish: Translation of overstate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overstate for Arabic Speakers


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