Definition of overwork in English:

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Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈwəːk/


[with object] (often as adjective overworked)
1Exhaust with too much work: tired, overworked, demoralized staff
More example sentences
  • You'll be overworked and exhausted there, too.
  • These jobs can be done by one extraordinary and exhaustingly overworked person, or they can be shared among the available people according to ability, interest and need.
  • A major altercation was narrowly avoided as 250 thirsty guests swamped the overpriced bar, demanding a drink from one of two hopelessly overworked bar staff.
exploit, drive (too hard), drive into the ground, tax, overtax, sweat, overburden, put upon, impose on, oppress;
be a slave driver, be a hard taskmaster
stressed, under stress, stressed out, stress-ridden, strained, overtaxed, overburdened, overloaded, exhausted, fatigued, worn out
1.1 [no object] Work too hard: the doctor advised a complete rest because he had been overworking
More example sentences
  • I wish I'd read it 10 or 15 years ago, because I then wouldn't have had to learn the hard way what overworking for all the wrong reasons can do to you.
  • ‘Overwrought’ by the same token must mean ‘overworked’, yet I guess that at least 94% of us sometimes get overwrought for reasons unconnected with overworking.
  • Jing is considered to be a very precious substance - the foundation of our constitutional energy - one that we need to protect and value by ensuring that we do not erode it through excesses, neither by overworking nor by partying!
work too hard, work like a Trojan/horse/slave, work/run oneself into the ground, wear oneself to a shadow, work one's fingers to the bone, drive oneself into the ground, sweat, sweat blood, work day and night, burn the candle at both ends, burn the midnight oil, overtax oneself, overtax one's strength, kill oneself, burn oneself out, do too much, overdo it, strain oneself, overburden oneself, overload oneself, drive/push oneself too hard
informal knock oneself out, work one's tail off
vulgar slang work/sweat one's balls off
1.2Make excessive use of: our lifts are overworked
More example sentences
  • Kansas City's bullpen was overworked last season because its young starters either broke down physically or threw too many pitches to consistently work past the sixth inning.
  • The welfare system is overworked, underpaid and they get burned out.
  • These nations are making no effective effort to ensure that their athletes are clean, instead leaving the job of enforcement to an overstretched, overworked WADA.
1.3Use (a word or idea) too much and so make it weaker in meaning or effect: ‘Breathtaking’ is an overworked brochure cliché
More example sentences
  • This hideously overworked cliché alone is enough is enough to bar you from membership of the young-old club.
  • No, I understand there's no more overworked or overused word than ‘new.’
  • The word ‘passion’ is sadly overworked at most auto shows, but in Trevor's case it is right on the money.


[mass noun]
Excessive work: his health broke down under the strain of overwork
More example sentences
  • Men suffering from overwork, tiredness and stress are less likely ‘to share family meals, to read, play and help children with homework, and to be involved in recreational activities or to do the shopping’.
  • Independent research indicates that they live in extreme poverty and suffer stress and exhaustion from overwork and forced overtime.
  • All the muscles in her tiny body seemed to hurt; whether from overwork or fatigue she couldn't decipher.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over|work

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