- to reach or extend over or beyond: The shelf overreached the nook and had to be planed down.
- to go beyond, as a thing aimed at or sought: an arrow that had overreached the target.
- to stretch to excess, as by a straining effort: to overreach one's arm and strain a muscle.
- to defeat (oneself) by overdoing matters, often by excessive eagerness or cunning: In trying to promote disunity he had overreached himself.
- to strain or exert (oneself or itself) to the point of exceeding the purpose.
- to get the better of, especially by deceit or trickery; outwit: Every time you deal with them you wonder if they're overreaching you.
- to overtake.
- Obsolete. to overpower.
Origin of overreach
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for overreaching
By overreaching on health care, he has managed to achieve precisely the opposite effect.Presidents Never Can Seem to Learn to Stop Overreaching
November 25, 2013
Republican legislatures are overreaching with voting laws to try to gain partisan advantage.Why Judge Posner Changed His Mind On Voter ID Laws
Richard L. Hasen
October 23, 2013
“Afghan good enough” is the military phrase for limiting our objectives to what is achievable and not overreaching.‘Afghan Good Enough’ May Be the Best We Can Hope for in Afghanistan
September 16, 2013
In effect, an overreaching administration and a supine FISC are ginning up a secret constitution.The Secret FISA Court Must Go
Jennifer Granick, Christopher Sprigman
July 24, 2013
GOP overreaching, as I've argued, may hurt the party in the 2014 midterms.The White House and the IRS: A Carteresque Fiasco
May 28, 2013
She saw he was in deadly earnest, but believed he was overreaching himself.Colorado Jim
A boy who proposes to go as far as he can is in the way of overreaching himself.Billy Topsail, M.D.
I act as a conscious enemy, overreaching them and utilizing their heedlessness.The Ego and His Own
Three things that ruin every chief: falsehood, overreaching, parricide.The Triads of Ireland
He was covetous, and never missed an opportunity of overreaching his neighbour.Arthur Mervyn
Charles Brockden Brown
- (tr) to defeat or thwart (oneself) by attempting to do or gain too much
- (tr) to aim for but miss by going too far or attempting too much
- to get the better of (a person) by trickery
- (tr) to reach or extend beyond or over
- (intr) to reach or go too far
- (intr) (of a horse) to strike the back of a forefoot with the edge of the opposite hind foot
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
Word Origin and History for overreaching
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper