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[adjective oh-ver-i-lab-er-it; verb oh-ver-i-lab-uh-reyt] /adjective ˈoʊ vər ɪˈlæb ər ɪt; verb ˌoʊ vər ɪˈlæb əˌreɪt/
excessively or fussily elaborate, ornate, detailed, etc.
verb (used with object), overelaborated, overelaborating.
to render or present with excessive or fussy detail:
He so overelaborates his jokes that they lose their humor.
verb (used without object), overelaborated, overelaborating.
to add excessive details, as in writing or speaking:
He overelaborates to an extent that his novels must be cut radically before being published.
Origin of overelaborate
Related forms
overelaborately, adverb
overelaboration, overelaborateness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overelaborate
Historical Examples
  • It is a work unique, perhaps, in its design, but entirely unfeeling and preposterous in its overelaborate decorations.

  • We had had two meals, one of which was as totally unnecessary as the other was overelaborate.

    The Message Alec John Dawson
  • It was a Cosway; but a Cosway broadened and without a hint of genteel namby-pamby or overelaborate finesse.

    Visionaries James Huneker
  • "I see," said I—for Mr. Brisher is apt to overelaborate his jokes.

British Dictionary definitions for overelaborate


adjective (ˌəʊvərɪˈlæbərɪt)
excessively ornate, detailed, or complex
verb (ˌəʊvərɪˈlæbəˌreɪt)
(transitive) to detail or develop (an idea, plan, etc) excessively
Derived Forms
overelaboration, noun
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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