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[verb oh-ver-hang; noun oh-ver-hang] /verb ˌoʊ vərˈhæŋ; noun ˈoʊ vərˌhæŋ/
verb (used with object), overhung, overhanging.
to hang or be suspended over:
A great chandelier overhung the ballroom.
to extend, project, or jut over:
A wide balcony overhangs the garden.
to impend over or threaten, as danger or evil; loom over:
The threat of war overhung Europe.
to spread throughout; permeate; pervade:
the melancholy that overhung the proceedings.
Informal. to hover over, as a threat or menace:
Unemployment continues to overhang the economic recovery.
verb (used without object), overhung, overhanging.
to hang over; project or jut out over something below:
How far does the balcony overhang?
something that extends or juts out over; projection.
the extent of projection, as of the bow of a ship.
Informal. an excess or surplus:
an overhang of office space in midtown.
a threat or menace:
to face the overhang of foreign reprisals.
Architecture. a projecting upper part of a building, as a roof or balcony.
Origin of overhang
First recorded in 1590-1600; over- + hang Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overhang
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At this place the cliffs which overhang the southern bank presented a fine collection of basaltic columns.

  • The middle shelf is to have an overhang and will rest upon the rails.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • The rock-bound coast, which seemed to overhang the waters, was broken by their incessant lashing for century upon century.

    The Dead Command Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • It was the overhang of the river, and when I dropped through I found myself in the water.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • The road was rising slowly towards the hills that overhang the Liseron Valley.

    The Woman of Mystery Maurice Leblanc
  • Always have I known that this danger must overhang you as a penalty for loving me.

  • This face-board is surmounted by a cap, which has an overhang, beneath which is a molding of any convenient pattern.

    Carpentry for Boys J. S. Zerbe
  • You will note that the sides of the top or seat have an overhang of ½ inch on each margin.

    Carpentry for Boys J. S. Zerbe
British Dictionary definitions for overhang


verb (ˌəʊvəˈhæŋ) -hangs, -hanging, -hung
to project or extend beyond (a surface, building, etc)
(transitive) to hang or be suspended over
(transitive) to menace, threaten, or dominate
noun (ˈəʊvəˌhæŋ)
a formation, object, part of a structure, etc, that extends beyond or hangs over something, such as an outcrop of rock overhanging a mountain face
the amount or extent of projection
  1. half the difference in span of the main supporting surfaces of a biplane or other multiplane
  2. the distance from the outer supporting strut of a wing to the wing tip
(finance) the shares, collectively, that the underwriters have to buy when a new issue has not been fully taken up by the market
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 overhang

1590s, from over- + hang (v.). Related: Overhung; overhanging.


"fact of overhanging," 1864, from overhang (v.).


"fact of overhanging," 1864, from overhang (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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