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[verb oh-ver-shoot; noun oh-ver-shoot] /verb ˌoʊ vərˈʃut; noun ˈoʊ vərˌʃut/
verb (used with object), overshot, overshooting.
to shoot or go over, beyond, or above; miss:
The missile overshot its target.
to pass or go by or beyond (a point, limit, etc.):
to overshoot a stop sign.
to shoot or pour down over:
turbulent water overshooting the top of the dam.
to overreach (oneself or itself); go further than is intended or proper; go too far:
It looked as though his self-confidence had overshot itself.
(of an aircraft or pilot) to fly too far along (a landing strip) in attempting to land.
verb (used without object), overshot, overshooting.
to fly or go beyond.
to shoot over or above a mark.
a shooting beyond a specified point or target:
two overshoots in the missile test series.
the amount of excessive distance in a trajectory or route:
a two-mile overshoot on the artillery range.
Origin of overshoot
Middle English word dating back to 1325-75; See origin at over-, shoot1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overshoot
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was unthinkable that he should overshoot the gutter, but he imagined it was still some distance off.

    Johnstone of the Border Harold Bindloss
  • For an instant he had a quick fear that he might overshoot his mark.

    Pirates of the Gorm Nat Schachner
  • You are overrating the effects of our failure—you never seem to be able to do anything but overshoot your mark.

    Three Dramas Bjrnstjerne M. Bjrnson
  • "Say about a couple of thousand ounces and you overshoot it," Peters answered.

    Colonial Born G. Firth Scott
  • But this caused us to overshoot our time, the Moon spending so fast.

  • But it also makes him careless and liable to overshoot the mark.

  • He was afraid that, if he stood on long to the north, he might overshoot the passage, should one exist.

    Captain Cook W.H.G. Kingston
  • Every time, I seem to come short on the field; or overshoot it.

    Out of the Air Inez Haynes Irwin
British Dictionary definitions for overshoot


verb -shoots, -shooting, -shot
to shoot or go beyond (a mark or target)
to cause (an aircraft) to fly or taxi too far along (a runway) during landing or taking off, or (of an aircraft) to fly or taxi too far along a runway
(transitive) to pass swiftly over or down over, as water over a wheel
an act or instance of overshooting
the extent of such overshooting
a momentary excessive response of an electrical or mechanical system
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 overshoot

mid-14c., "to shoot, run, or pass beyond (a point or limit)," over- + shoot (v.). Related: Overshot; overshooting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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overshoot in Medicine

overshoot o·ver·shoot (ō'vər-shōōt')
A change from steady state in response to a sudden change in some factor, as in electric potential or polarity when a cell or tissue is stimulated.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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