[ oh-ver-kom-puh n-seyt ]
/ ˌoʊ vərˈkɒm pənˌseɪt /

verb (used with object), o·ver·com·pen·sat·ed, o·ver·com·pen·sat·ing.

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.

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.

Nearby words

  1. overcoat, the,
  2. overcoating,
  3. overcoil,
  4. overcome,
  5. overcommit,
  6. overcompensation,
  7. overcomplex,
  8. overconfident,
  9. overconsumption,
  10. overcook

Origin of overcompensate

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

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

Examples from the Web for overcompensate

British Dictionary definitions for overcompensate


/ (ˌəʊvəˈkɒmpɛnˌseɪt) /


to compensate (a person or thing) excessively
(intr) psychol to engage in overcompensation
Derived Formsovercompensatory, 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