verb (used with object), o·ver·did, o·ver·done, o·ver·do·ing.

to do to excess; overindulge in: to overdo dieting.
to carry to excess or beyond the proper limit: He puts on so much charm that he overdoes it.
to overact (a part); exaggerate.
to overtax the strength of; fatigue; exhaust.
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.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for overdoing

Contemporary Examples of overdoing

  • Greebel also warns of overdoing your protein intake, which can tax your kidneys—so be careful with protein powders and pills.

    The Daily Beast logo
    6 Snacks to Eat for Your Workout

    Divya Gugnani

    August 15, 2010

Historical Examples of overdoing

  • Yet it seemed to Phillips as if Smith were overdoing his pose of ignorance.

    The Island Mystery

    George A. Birmingham

  • You had better go, Kate, and make him sit down, or he'll be overdoing it.

  • That last did seem to be overdoing things a bit, but not seriously.

    Pagan Passions

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • You have been overdoing yourself—that explains itself to everybody.

  • He was bowing to her with an obvious intention of overdoing it.

    Crooked Trails and Straight

    William MacLeod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for overdoing


verb -does, -doing, -did or -done (tr)

to take or carry too far; do to excess
to exaggerate, overelaborate, or overplay
to cook or bake too long
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 overdoing



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