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overact

[oh-ver-akt]
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to act in an exaggerated manner.

Origin of overact

First recorded in 1605–15; over- + act
Related formso·ver·ac·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overact

Historical Examples

  • I saw Mrs. Drew play Mrs. Malaprop, and it was a lesson to people who overact.

    McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908.

    Various


British Dictionary definitions for overact

overact

verb
  1. to act or behave in an exaggerated manner, as in a theatrical productionAlso: overplay
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 overact

v.

1610s, "to go too far in action," from over- + act (v.). Meaning "to play a part with too much emphasis, to chew the scenery" is from 1630s. Related: Overacted; overacting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper