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[oh-ver-doo] /ˌoʊ vərˈdu/
verb (used with object), overdid, overdone, overdoing.
to do to excess; overindulge in:
to overdo dieting.
to carry to excess or beyond the proper limit:
He puts on so much charm that he overdoes it.
to overact (a part); exaggerate.
to overtax the strength of; fatigue; exhaust.
to cook too much or too long; overcook:
Don't overdo the hamburgers.
verb (used without object), overdid, overdone, overdoing.
to do too much; go to an extreme:
Exercise is good but you mustn't overdo.
Origin of overdo
before 1000; Middle English overdon, Old English oferdōn. See over-, do1
Related forms
overdoer, noun
Can be confused
overdo, overdue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overdoing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet it seemed to Phillips as if Smith were overdoing his pose of ignorance.

    The Island Mystery George A. Birmingham
  • You had better go, Kate, and make him sit down, or he'll be overdoing it.

  • That last did seem to be overdoing things a bit, but not seriously.

    Pagan Passions Gordon Randall Garrett
  • You have been overdoing yourself—that explains itself to everybody.

    A Houseful of Girls Sarah Tytler
  • He was bowing to her with an obvious intention of overdoing it.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
  • He knew he was overdoing it, but the meeting with Cullison had annoyed him exceedingly.

    Crooked Trails and Straight William MacLeod Raine
  • Or has the experienced matron been overdoing her attention to his morals?

    A Dog with a Bad Name Talbot Baines Reed
  • "There's such a thing, Sarah, as overdoing the siesta," she taunted.

  • Doctor Keltridge will be watching me to see that I'm not overdoing.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
British Dictionary definitions for overdoing


verb (transitive) -does, -doing, -did, -done
to take or carry too far; do to excess
to exaggerate, overelaborate, or overplay
to cook or bake too long
overdo it, overdo things, to overtax one's strength, capacity, etc
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
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Word Origin and History for overdoing



Old English oferdon "to do too much," from ofer (see over) + don (see do (v.)). Common Germanic (cf. Old High German ubartuan). Meaning "to overtax, exhaust" (especially in phrase to overdo it) is attested from 1817. Of food, "to cook too long," first recorded 1680s (in past participle adjective overdone).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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