Show excessive enthusiasm, act in an excessive way. For example, It's easy to go overboard with a new stock offering, or She really went overboard, hiring the most expensive caterer. [Mid-1900s]
Words nearby go overboard
BEHIND THE PHRASE
What does go overboard mean?
Go overboard is a phrase that means to show excessive enthusiasm or to do something excessively.
Go overboard can express that someone shows too much enthusiasm, as in I tend to go overboard when I cook and make too much food.
Go overboard can also be used more generally to refer to someone going to an extreme when they do something, as in Shira really went overboard with this birthday party by hiring twenty clowns!
Example: The science teacher went so overboard with her explanation of molecules that the entire class was confused.
Where does go overboard come from?
The first records of go overboard come from around 1931. Its literal meaning refers to falling over the side of a ship, especially into the water. The figurative meaning likely comes from this literal meaning.
Go overboard is typically used to mean that a person is doing something that is unnecessary or goes too far in whatever they are doing. You might be warned not to go overboard to avoid this, such as when there is a tight budget or short deadline.
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How is go overboard used in real life?
Go overboard is a common phrase that describes a situation in which a person does too much or goes too far.
I go overboard. I get excited, order too much food, plan too much… Also I fall out of boats.
— Ian Bohen (@IanBohen) January 14, 2015
I don't buy new clothes often but when I do, I go overboard haha Gotta love new clothes 👍
— Ali-A (@OMGitsAliA) February 21, 2015
Someone on press row went overboard with the cologne and now I have a headache. #brutal
— ChadinPortland 🎙 (@ChadinRipCity) February 26, 2020
Try using go overboard!
Is go overboard used correctly in the following sentence?
Please don’t go overboard by spending too much money on the gift.
How to use go overboard in a sentence
Everywhere I go, ‘Hey Cartman, you must like Family Guy, right?’
Luckily enough I have this dedicated flat that is just along from my house that I go to every day.
The other songs go in to lesser percentages of “me” as you move along.
At the moment, the only chance I get is when I go do Late Night with Seth Meyers.
You just travel light with carry-on luggage, go to cities that you love, and get to hang out with all your friends.
When the women came, he was preparing to go to the west side for his daily visit with Mrs. Pruitt.The Homesteader|Oscar Micheaux
Were you ever arrested, having in your custody another man's cash, and would rather go to gaol, than break it?
He desired his secretary to go to the devil, but, thinking better of it, he recalled him as he reached the door.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
All Weimar adores him, and people say that women still go perfectly crazy over him.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
To see a part of my scheme, from which I had hoped so much, go wrong before my eyes is maddening!Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton