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[oh-ver-heet] /ˌoʊ vərˈhit/
verb (used with object)
to heat to excess.
to excite or agitate; make vehement:
a crowd overheated by rabble-rousers.
verb (used without object)
to become overheated:
a stove that overheats alarmingly; a temper that overheats with little provocation.
the state or condition of being overheated; excessive heat, agitation, or vehemence.
Origin of overheat
First recorded in 1350-1400, overheat is from the Middle English word overheten. See over-, heat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overheat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If you stop you are likely to overheat forward end of fire tubes.

    Farm Engines and How to Run Them James H. Stephenson
  • In that case the radioactive pyramidal cells will overheat and decompose.

    The Brain Alexander Blade
  • Therefore a motor that is driven a long distance on the low gear will have a tendency to overheat.

    The Gasoline Motor

    Harold Whiting Slauson
  • Care should be taken to not overheat the kernels, or their flavor and color will be impaired.

  • The cooling system is prone to overheat after antifreezing solutions of which calcium chloride forms a part have been used.

    Aviation Engines

    Victor Wilfred Pag
  • He will then, when quite sure that the bed will not overheat, put on his summer droppings.

    Fungi: Their Nature and Uses Mordecai Cubitt Cooke
  • It will be seen from the above that in all electrical work the sizes of the wires used have to be such that they do not overheat.

    Things a Boy Should Know About Electricity

    Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew) St. John
  • Conceded that we overheat our houses and our railroad trains and our hotel lobbies in America, nevertheless we do heat them.

    Europe Revised Irvin S. Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for overheat


to make or become excessively hot
(transitive; often passive) to make very agitated, irritated, etc
(intransitive) (of an economy) to tend towards inflation, often as a result of excessive growth in demand
(transitive) to cause (an economy) to tend towards inflation
the condition of being overheated
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 overheat

"to make too hot" (transitive), late 14c., from over- + heat (v.). Intransitive sense "to become too hot" is from 1902, originally in reference to motor engines. Related: Overheated; overheating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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