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See more synonyms for overblown on Thesaurus.com
  1. overdone or excessive: overblown praise.
  2. of unusually large size or proportions: a majestic, overblown figure.
  3. overinflated; turgid; bombastic; pretentious: overblown prose.
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  1. past participle of overblow.
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Origin of overblown1

First recorded in 1590–1600; over- + blown1


  1. (of a flower) past the stage of full bloom; more than full-blown: an overblown rose.
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Origin of overblown2

First recorded in 1610–20; over- + blown2


verb (used with object), o·ver·blew, o·ver·blown, o·ver·blow·ing.
  1. to give excessive importance or value to: to overblow one's own writing.
  2. to overinflate.
  3. to blow over the surface of, as the wind, sand, or the like: dead leaves overblowing the yard.
  4. to blow (a wind instrument or an organ pipe) in such a way as to produce overtones.
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verb (used without object), o·ver·blew, o·ver·blown, o·ver·blow·ing.
  1. to overblow a wind instrument.
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Origin of overblow

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at over-, blow2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overblown

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Or ‘Friar Tuck’ so overblown He tipped the scale at fifteen stone.

  • One of these is notoriously tumidity—an overblown exaggeration of phrase.

  • Surely she could never become gross and overblown, the damask fading to an underwater bleach, dugs swollen to down pillows!

    Wilderness of Spring

    Edgar Pangborn

  • Yet Laura was neither gross nor unclean—indeed, pretty in her overblown way, and certainly friendly.

    Wilderness of Spring

    Edgar Pangborn

  • He looked like an overblown schoolboy, and though I felt so sorry for him, I could hardly help laughing.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham

British Dictionary definitions for overblown


  1. overdone or excessive
  2. bombastic; turgidoverblown prose
  3. (of flowers, such as the rose) past the stage of full bloom
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verb -blows, -blowing, -blew or -blown
  1. music to blow into (a wind instrument) with greater force than normal in order to obtain a harmonic or overtone instead of the fundamental tone
  2. to blow (a wind instrument) or (of a wind instrument) to be blown too hard
  3. to blow over, away, or across
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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 overblown


late 15c., "blown over, passed away," past participle adjective from verb overblow "to blow over the top of," of a storm, "to abate, pass on" (late 14c.), from over- + blow (v.). Meaning "inflated, puffed up" (with vanity, etc.) is from 1864.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper