[oh-ver-boo k]

verb (used with object)

to accept reservations for in excess of the number that can be accommodated: The airline routinely overbooks its flights so as to fill its planes even if there are last-minute cancellations.

verb (used without object)

to accept reservations in excess of the number that can be accommodated: If the hotel has overbooked, some of the conventioners won't have a place to stay.

Origin of overbook

1900–05; over- + book (v.)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overbook

Contemporary Examples of overbook

  • But sometimes delays are indeed attributable at least in part to airports and airlines that overbook flights.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Airports From Hell

    The Daily Beast

    November 22, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for overbook



(tr) to make more reservations than there are places, tickets, hotel rooms, etc, available
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 overbook

"to sell more tickets than there are seats," 1903, from over- + book (v.); originally in reference to theaters. Related: Overbooked; overbooking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper