[ oh-ver-kom-puhn-seyt ]
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verb (used with object),o·ver·com·pen·sat·ed, o·ver·com·pen·sat·ing.
  1. to compensate or reward excessively; overpay: Some stockholders feel the executives are being overcompensated and that bonuses should be reduced.

verb (used without object),o·ver·com·pen·sat·ed, o·ver·com·pen·sat·ing.
  1. to exhibit psychological overcompensation; strive to overcome a sense of inferiority through overt, opposite behavior: The aggressive patient may be overcompensating, and be a profoundly shy person beneath the façade.

Origin of overcompensate

1760–70; over- + compensate; as term in psychology, perhaps back formation from overcompensation

Words Nearby overcompensate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use overcompensate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for overcompensate


/ (ˌəʊvəˈkɒmpɛnˌseɪt) /

  1. to compensate (a person or thing) excessively

  2. (intr) psychol to engage in overcompensation

Derived forms of overcompensate

  • overcompensatory, adjective

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