Definition of overdo in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈduː/

verb (overdoes, overdoing; past overdid; past participle overdone)

[with object]
1Do, use, or carry to excess; exaggerate: she rather overdoes the early cockney scenes I’d overdone the garlic in the curry
More example sentences
  • The consensus was that, although water was indeed a lovely thing to have in unlimited supply, we'd rather overdone it.
  • Too late, to his chagrin, not to mention embarrassment, he found that he had rather overdone it, and could not get near him.
  • Unfortunately, some of these tracks suffer due to some rather overdone production.
colour, embroider, embellish, overembellish, inflate, amplify, magnify, make a mountain out of a molehill, blow up, blow up out of all proportion
informal ham up, camp up, make a (big) thing of/about, pile on, lay it on thick, lay it on with a trowel, make a production of, make a big deal out of
archaic pull the longbow
have/do/use/drink too much …, overindulge in, have/use/do/eat/drink to excess, carry too far, carry to extremes, not know when to stop, be intemperate
excessive, too much, undue, immoderate, inordinate, disproportionate, inflated, beyond the pale, overstated, overworked, overripe, laboured, exaggerated, over-elaborate, overemphasized, extravagant, over-enthusiastic, effusive, over-effusive, gushing, fulsome, highly coloured, sensationalistic, forced, affected;
1.1 (overdo it/things) Exhaust oneself by overwork or overexertion: I’d simply overdone it in the gym
More example sentences
  • The Doctor is of course off this weekend also and I am continuing in my discussions to try to keep him from overdoing things - he works harder than most and doesn't take to relaxation.
  • Mars is a hard-driving taskmaster, so you've probably been overdoing things again recently.
  • Barua is an avid tennis player who still takes the game with the exuberance of a youngster, consequently overdoing things at times.
work too hard, overwork, do too much, work like a Trojan/horse/slave, work day and night, burn the midnight oil, burn the candle at both ends, strain oneself, sweat, sweat blood, overtax oneself, overtax one's strength, overburden oneself, overload oneself, drive/push oneself too hard, work/run oneself into the ground, wear oneself to a shadow, work one's fingers to the bone, wear oneself out, have too many irons in the fire, have too many balls in the air, burn oneself out, bite off more than one can chew
vulgar slang work/sweat one's balls off
Example sentences
  • My halibut was slightly overcooked and came with similarly overdone vegetables, making for an unmemorable experience.
  • The tiger prawns were huge and not overdone and the potatoes and vegetables not overcooked.
  • The sausages were tangy and unusual, slightly overdone at one end - which I like in a sausage - and tasty.
informal burn to a frazzle
informal burnt to a frazzle


Old English oferdōn (see over-, do1).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over¦do

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.