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[oh-ver-steyt] /ˌoʊ vərˈsteɪt/
verb (used with object), overstated, overstating.
to state too strongly; exaggerate:
to overstate one's position in a controversy.
Origin of overstate
First recorded in 1630-40; over- + state
Related forms
overstatement, noun
overstress, embroider, magnify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overstatement
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He wished his answer to be not an overstatement, but the exact truth.

    The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • It has happened so many times that we know this is not an overstatement.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10

    Charles Herbert Sylvester
  • One of the characteristics of a legend is its overstatement of fact.

  • Yet this might perhaps be regarded as something of an overstatement.

    The Analysis of Mind Bertrand Russell
  • To assert the contrary is to weaken one's case by overstatement.

    Vivisection Albert Leffingwell
British Dictionary definitions for overstatement


(transitive) to state too strongly; exaggerate or overemphasize
Derived Forms
overstatement, noun
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 overstatement

1803, from over- + statement.



1630s, "assume too much grandeur;" see over- + state (n.1). Meaning "state too strongly" is attested from 1798, from state (v.). Related: Overstated, overstating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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