Definition of overplay in English:

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Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈpleɪ/


[with object]
1Give undue importance to; overemphasize: he thinks the idea of a special relationship between sitter and artist is much overplayed
More example sentences
  • The director of the Edinburgh Film Festival said the film was influential but its overall importance was overplayed in Scotland.
  • Their major claimed benefits may overplay the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise and underplay issues such as social conflict, cultural difference and opportunism.
  • It's possible to overplay the importance of plotting.
1.1Exaggerate the performance of (a dramatic role): the uncontrollable urge of ham actors to overplay their parts
More example sentences
  • No one overplays their role, and provide journeyman performances.
  • She never overplays her role nor underplays it - in essence, she was the perfect choice for this role and makes a stunning cinematic debut.
  • A vice-president has ‘moments when his nerves give and he overplays his role’.


overplay one's hand

1(In a card game) play or bet on one’s hand with a mistaken optimism.
2Spoil one’s chance of success through excessive confidence in one’s position: she chose to overplay her hand and lost the sympathy of those who could have saved her
More example sentences
  • Do not overplay your hand as this will rebound on you.
  • A good magician, he explains, anticipates the way in which the audience thinks, never overplays his hand and works intelligently with the belief system of the people in front of him.
  • Instead, he overplayed his hand and introduced doubts and inconsistencies with his failed dossiers.
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