verb (used with object), o·ver·ex·posed, o·ver·ex·pos·ing.

to expose too much, as to the sun, cold, or light rays (often used reflexively): Be careful of overexposing yourself to the sun.
Photography. to expose (a film or the like) to too much light.

Nearby words

  1. overestimate,
  2. overexcite,
  3. overexcited,
  4. overexert,
  5. overexpansion,
  6. overexposed,
  7. overexposure,
  8. overexpress,
  9. overextend,
  10. overextended

Origin of overexpose

First recorded in 1865–70; over- + expose

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for over-expose

  • You should over-expose rather than under-expose, allowance being made when the acid is used.

    Photogravure|Henry R. Blaney

British Dictionary definitions for over-expose


verb (tr)

to expose too much or for too long
photog to expose (a film, plate, or paper) for too long a period or with too bright a light
Derived Formsoverexposure, 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

Word Origin and History for over-expose



1869, in photography, from over- + expose (v.). Figurative sense, in reference to celebrity, first attested 1969 (implied in overexposure). Related: Over-exposed; over-exposing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper