Definition of overwrought in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌōvəˈrôt/


1In a state of nervous excitement or anxiety: she was too overwrought to listen to reason
More example sentences
  • She had looked forward to his return after a long absence; she had been in a nervous overwrought state after her husband's death and her health was not good.
  • Add to these the author's overwrought imagination, which refuses to settle for the number of persons the vehicle can safely carry.
  • She dismissed the thought as the result of her overwrought imagination, but it was all she could do not to run the last few steps to her cell.
tense, agitated, nervous, on edge, edgy, keyed up, worked up, high-strung, neurotic, overexcited, beside oneself, distracted, distraught, frantic, hysterical
informal in a state, in a tizzy, uptight, wound up, het up, strung out
2(Of a piece of writing or a work of art) too elaborate or complicated in design or construction.
Example sentences
  • The award for most overwrought writing about snow goes to…
  • Some overwrought writing mars an otherwise sharp and insightful exploration of homophobia in the deep South.
  • On the other hand, the straight-ahead rock, soul and Eurodance is the overwrought work of a man who should know better.
overelaborate, overornate, overblown, overdone, contrived, overworked, strained


Late Middle English: archaic past participle of overwork.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·ver·wrought

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