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verb (used with object), o·ver·did, o·ver·done, o·ver·do·ing.
  1. to do to excess; overindulge in: to overdo dieting.
  2. to carry to excess or beyond the proper limit: He puts on so much charm that he overdoes it.
  3. to overact (a part); exaggerate.
  4. to overtax the strength of; fatigue; exhaust.
  5. to cook too much or too long; overcook: Don't overdo the hamburgers.
verb (used without object), o·ver·did, o·ver·done, o·ver·do·ing.
  1. to do too much; go to an extreme: Exercise is good but you mustn't overdo.

Origin of overdo

before 1000; Middle English overdon, Old English oferdōn. See over-, do1
Related formso·ver·do·er, noun
Can be confusedoverdo overdue
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for overdo


verb -does, -doing, -did or -done (tr)
  1. to take or carry too far; do to excess
  2. to exaggerate, overelaborate, or overplay
  3. to cook or bake too long
  4. overdo it or overdo things to overtax one's strength, capacity, etc
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 overdo

Old English oferdon "to do too much," from ofer (see over) + don (see do (v.)). Common Germanic (cf. Old High German ubartuan). Meaning "to overtax, exhaust" (especially in phrase to overdo it) is attested from 1817. Of food, "to cook too long," first recorded 1680s (in past participle adjective overdone).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper