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overreach

[oh-ver-reech] /ˌoʊ vərˈritʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to reach or extend over or beyond:
The shelf overreached the nook and had to be planed down.
2.
to go beyond, as a thing aimed at or sought:
an arrow that had overreached the target.
3.
to stretch to excess, as by a straining effort:
to overreach one's arm and strain a muscle.
4.
to defeat (oneself) by overdoing matters, often by excessive eagerness or cunning:
In trying to promote disunity he had overreached himself.
5.
to strain or exert (oneself or itself) to the point of exceeding the purpose.
6.
to get the better of, especially by deceit or trickery; outwit:
Every time you deal with them you wonder if they're overreaching you.
7.
to overtake.
8.
Obsolete. to overpower.
verb (used without object)
9.
to reach or extend over something.
10.
to reach too far:
In grabbing for the rope he overreached and fell.
11.
to cheat others.
12.
(of a running or walking horse) to strike, or strike and injure, the forefoot with the hind foot.
13.
Nautical. to sail on a tack longer than is desirable or was intended; overstand.
Origin of overreach
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English; see over-, reach
Related forms
overreacher, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for overreaching
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • overreaching in trade is often dignified with the name of shrewdness, but, for all that, it is contrary to the rule of honesty.

    Oscar Walter Aimwell
  • She saw he was in deadly earnest, but believed he was overreaching himself.

    Colorado Jim George Goodchild
  • If my neighbor uses his greater knowledge as a means of overreaching us all, it injures us and ruins him.

  • By this adjective 'smart' is to be understood 'sharp, overreaching'—in fact, a cleverness verging upon safe dishonesty. '

    Cedar Creek Elizabeth Hely Walshe
  • When Daniel talked it over with Rebecca they concluded he would not be overreaching himself to invest in such an acreage.

    Blue Ridge Country Jean Thomas
British Dictionary definitions for overreaching

overreach

/ˌəʊvəˈriːtʃ/
verb
1.
(transitive) to defeat or thwart (oneself) by attempting to do or gain too much
2.
(transitive) to aim for but miss by going too far or attempting too much
3.
to get the better of (a person) by trickery
4.
(transitive) to reach or extend beyond or over
5.
(intransitive) to reach or go too far
6.
(intransitive) (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
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Word Origin and History for overreaching

overreach

v.

c.1300, "to reach above or beyond" (transitive), from over- + reach (v.). Meaning "to extend over something, to cover it" is from c.1400. Sense of "to reach beyond one's strength" is from 1560s. As a noun from 1550s. Related: Overreached; overreaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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21
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