Definition of overwrought in English:

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Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈrɔːt/


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.
British  nervy
informal in a state, in a tizzy, uptight, twitchy, wound up, wired, het up
British informal throwing a wobbly, strung up, stressy, swivel-eyed
2(Of a piece of writing or a work of art) too elaborate or complicated in design or construction: a pseudo-Gothic church far too overwrought for such a small town overwrought prose
More 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.
excessively ornate, over-ornate, over-elaborate, over-embellished, overblown, overripe, exaggerated, overdone, florid, busy, fussy, contrived, overworked, strained, laboured, baroque, rococo


Late Middle English: archaic past participle of overwork.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over|wrought

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