Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[oh-ver-bawrd, -bohrd] /ˈoʊ vərˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd/
over the side of a ship or boat, especially into or in the water:
to fall overboard.
go overboard, to go to extremes, especially in regard to approval or disapproval of a person or thing:
I think the critics went overboard in panning that new show.
Origin of overboard
before 1000; Middle English over bord, Old English ofer bord. See over, board Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for overboard
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The boy was next attacked-with threats of throwing him overboard.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I'll throw him overboard before such a disgrace befall us or him.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • He would come, and we would heave him overboard, or get killed trying.

    Tom Sawyer, Detective Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • She had a deckload of it, and she'd heave it overboard every time the wind changed.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • If 'twas one of the hands I guess likely she'd have hove him overboard.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for overboard


from on board a vessel into the water
(informal) go overboard
  1. to be extremely enthusiastic
  2. to go to extremes
throw overboard, to reject or abandon
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for overboard

"over the side of a ship," Old English ofor bord, from over + bord "side of a ship" (see board (n.2)). Figurative sense of "excessively, beyond one's means" (especially in phrase go overboard) first attested 1931 in Damon Runyon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for overboard


Related Terms

go overboard

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with overboard


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for overboard

Difficulty index for overboard

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for overboard

Scrabble Words With Friends