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overcompensate

[oh-ver-kom-puh n-seyt]
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verb (used with object), o·ver·com·pen·sat·ed, o·ver·com·pen·sat·ing.
  1. to compensate or reward excessively; overpay: Some stockholders feel the executives are being overcompensated and that bonuses should be reduced.
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verb (used without object), o·ver·com·pen·sat·ed, o·ver·com·pen·sat·ing.
  1. to exhibit psychological overcompensation; strive to overcome a sense of inferiority through overt, opposite behavior: The aggressive patient may be overcompensating, and be a profoundly shy person beneath the façade.
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Origin of overcompensate

1760–70; over- + compensate; as term in psychology, perhaps back formation from overcompensation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for over-compensate

overcompensate

verb
  1. to compensate (a person or thing) excessively
  2. (intr) psychol to engage in overcompensation
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Derived Formsovercompensatory, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for over-compensate

v.

1758 (implied in over-compensated), from over- + compensate. Related: Over-compensating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper