[ oh-ver-kom-puhn-sey-shuhn ]
See synonyms for overcompensation on Thesaurus.com
  1. a pronounced striving to neutralize and conceal a strong but unacceptable character trait by substituting for it an opposite trait.

  2. compensation to an unnecessary or unreasonable degree: The pay was overcompensation for the work done.

Origin of overcompensation

1915–20; over- + compensation; as psychoanalytic term, translation of Überkompensation, coined by Alfred Adler

Other words from overcompensation

  • o·ver·com·pen·sa·to·ry [oh-ver-kuhm-pen-suh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee], /ˈoʊ vər kəmˈpɛn səˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective

Words Nearby overcompensation

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

How to use overcompensation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for overcompensation


/ (ˌəʊvəˌkɒmpɛnˈseɪʃən) /

  1. psychol an attempt to make up for a character trait by overexaggerating its opposite

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