overact (v.)
1610s, "to go too far in action," from over- + act (v.). Meaning "to play a part with too much emphasis, to chew the scenery" is from 1630s. Related: Overacted; overacting.
overage (n.)
"a surplus amount," 1945, a banking term, coined from over on model of shortage.
overall (adv.)
"everywhere," Old English ofer eall, from ofer "over" (see over) + eall (see all). Sense of "including everything" is from 1894. The noun in the clothing sense (usually plural) of "loose trousers of a strong material worn by cowboys, etc." is from 1782. Specific sense "loose fitting canvas trousers with a bib and strap top" (originally worn by workmen over other clothes to protect them from wet, dirt, etc.) is attested from 1897.
overalls (n.)
see overall. Compare French surtout "overcoat," literally "an over all," from sur- "over" + tout "all."
overarching (adj.)
1720, from present participle of verb overarch (1660s), from over- + arch (v.).
overawe (v.)
1570s, from over- + awe (v.). Perhaps coined by Spenser. Related: Overawed; overawing.
overbear (v.)
late 14c., "to carry over," from over- + bear (v.). Meaning "to bear down by weight of physical force" is from 1535 (in Coverdale), originally nautical, of an overwhelming wind; figurative sense of "to overcome and repress by power, authority, etc." is from 1560s.
overbearing (adj.)
figurative present participle adjective from overbear (v.) in its sense "to bear down."
overbite (n.)
"overlapping of the lower teeth by the upper ones," 1887, from over- + bite (n.).
overblown (adj.)
late 15c., "blown over, passed away," past participle adjective from verb overblow "to blow over the top of," of a storm, "to abate, pass on" (late 14c.), from over- + blow (v.1). Meaning "inflated, puffed up" (with vanity, etc.) is from 1864.
overboard (adv.)
"over the side of a ship," Old English ofor bord, from over + bord "side of a ship" (see board (n.2)). Figurative sense of "excessively, beyond one's means" (especially in phrase go overboard) first attested 1931 in Damon Runyon.
overbook (v.)
"to sell more tickets than there are seats," 1903, from over- + book (v.); originally in reference to theaters. Related: Overbooked; overbooking.
overburden (v.)
also over-burden, "to put too much weight on," 1530s, from over- + burden (v.). Earliest uses are figurative. Related: Overburdened; overburdening.
overcast (adj.)
c. 1300, of weather, past participle adjective from verb overcast (early 13c.), "to overthrow," also "to cover, to overspread" as with a garment, usually of weather, from over- + cast (v.).
overcharge (v.)
c. 1300, "to overload, overburden," from over- + charge (v.). Meaning "to charge someone too much money" is from 1660s. Related: Overcharged; overcharging.
overcloud (v.)
1590s, from over- + cloud (v.). Related: Overclouded; overclouding.
overcoat (n.)
"large coat worn over ordinary clothing," 1802, from over- + coat (n.).
overcome (v.)
Old English ofercuman "to reach, overtake," also "to conquer, prevail over," from ofer (see over) + cuman "to come" (see come (v.)). A common Germanic compound (Middle Dutch overkomen, Old High German ubarqueman, German überkommen). In reference to mental or chemical force, "to overwhelm, render helpless," it is in late Old English. Meaning "to surmount" (a difficulty or obstacle) is from c. 1200. The Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" was put together c. 1950s from lyrics from Charles Tindley's spiritual "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1901), and melody from pre-Civil War spiritual "No More Auction Block for Me." Related: Overcame; overcoming.
overcrowd (v.)
1766, from over- + crowd (v.). Related: Overcrowded; overcrowding.
overdo (v.)
Old English oferdon "to do too much," from ofer (see over) + don (see do (v.)). Common Germanic (for example Old High German ubartuan). Meaning "to overtax, exhaust" (especially in phrase to overdo it) is attested from 1817. Of food, "to cook too long," first recorded 1680s (in past participle adjective overdone).
overdone (adj.)
Old English ofer-done "carried to excess;" see overdo. Of cooking from 1680s.
overdose (n.)
1700, "an excessive dose," from over- + dose (n.).
overdose (v.)
1727, "to administer medicine in too large a dose" (transitive); from 1968 as "to take an overdose of drugs;" see over- + dose (v.). Related: Overdosed; overdosing.
overdraft (n.)
1878, in the banking sense, from over- + draft (n.).
overdraw (v.)
late 14c., "to draw across;" 1734 in the banking sense, from over- + draw (v.). Related: Overdrawn; overdrawing.
overdrive (n.)
"speed-increasing gear in an automobile," 1929, from over- + drive (n.).
overdub (v.)
1954, from over- + dub (v.). As a noun (over-dub) from 1953. Related: Overdubbed; overdubbing.
overdue (adj.)
"past the due date," 1845 of bills, 1890 of library books, 1970 of menstrual periods, from over- + due (adj.).
overeat (v.)
"to eat too much," 1590s, from over- + eat (v.). Related: Overate; overeating. Old English had oferæt (n.) "gluttony; oferæte (adj.) "gluttonous."
overfed (adj.)
1570s, from over- + fed (adj.).
overfeed (v.)
also over-feed, c. 1600, from over- + feed (v.). Related: overfed; overfeeding.
overflow (v.)
Old English oferfleow "to flow across, flood, inundate," also "to flow over (a brim or bank);" see over- + flow (v.). Related: Overflowed; overflowing.
overflow (n.)
1580s, "act of overflowing," from overflow (v.).
overgrazed (adj.)
of grassland, 1929, from over- + past participle of graze (v.).
overground (adj.)
"situated above ground" (as opposed to underground), 1879, from over- + ground (n.).
overgrown (adj.)
late 14c., "covered with growth," past participle adjective from overgrow "overspread with foliage" (Old English ofergrowan); see over- + grown, and compare Old English verb ofergrowan "to overgrow." Meaning "having grown too large" is attested from late 15c.
overgrowth (n.)
c. 1600, from over- + growth. Also see overgrown.
overhand (adv.)
1570s, "upside down," from over- + hand. Sense in tennis, etc., in reference to hand position above that which is gripped, is first recorded 1861. As an adjective, of throws, strokes, or bowls, "done with the hand raised above the shoulder," it is first recorded 1828 (in cricket).
overhang (v.)
1590s, from over- + hang (v.). Related: Overhung; overhanging.
overhang (n.)
"fact of overhanging," 1864, from overhang (v.).
overhaul (v.)
1620s, from over- + haul (v.); originally nautical, "pull rigging apart for examination," which was done by slackening the rope by hauling in the opposite direction to that in which it is pulled in hoisting. Replaced overhale in sense of "overtake" (1793). Related: Overhauled; overhauling.
overhaul (n.)
1826, from overhaul (v.).
overhead
1530s, "above one's head" (adv.), from over- + head. The adjective is attested from 1874. As a noun, short for overhead costs, etc., it is attested from 1914.
overhear (v.)
"to hear what one is not meant to hear," 1540s, from over- + hear. The notion is perhaps "to hear beyond the intended range of the voice." Old English oferhieran also meant "to not listen, to disregard, disobey" (compare overlook for negative force of over; also Middle High German überhaeren, Middle Dutch overhoren in same sense). Related: Overheard; overhearing.
overheat (v.)
"to make too hot" (transitive), late 14c., from over- + heat (v.). Intransitive sense "to become too hot" is from 1902, originally in reference to motor engines. Related: Overheated; overheating.
overindulge (v.)
also over-indulge, 1821, from over (adv.) + indulge.
overjoy (v.)
late 14c., "to rejoice over," from over- + joy (q.v.); translating Latin supergaudere (in Psalms xxxiv, etc.). Transitive sense of "to fill with gladness" is first recorded 1570s (now usually in past participle overjoyed).
overkill (n.)
1958, from over- + kill (v.). Originally in reference to nuclear arsenals; the general sense is from 1965. The verb is attested from 1946.
overlap (v.)
"to partially extend over," 1726; see over- + lap (v.2). Verbal phrase lap over "extend beyond" is recorded from 1630s. Related: Overlapped; overlapping.
overlap (n.)
1813, from overlap (v.).