[noun oh-ver-dohs; verb oh-ver-dohs, oh-ver-dohs]

noun, verb, o·ver·dosed, o·ver·dos·ing.

Origin of overdose

First recorded in 1680–90; over- + dose
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overdose

Contemporary Examples of overdose

Historical Examples of overdose

  • It must have been pretty powerful, too, for the doctor to warn against an overdose.

    Martians Never Die

    Lucius Daniel

  • I had been saved from being smothered by having taken an overdose of some narcotic.

  • That is their chief virtue—in rendering an overdose harmless.

    Jolly Sally Pendleton

    Laura Jean Libbey

  • That medicine on your wash-stand—an overdose of that and you can say it was a mistake.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • Overdose of hammers,” she diagnosed, then wisely changed the subject.

    Lucile Triumphant

    Elizabeth M. Duffield

British Dictionary definitions for overdose


noun (ˈəʊvəˌdəʊs)

(esp of drugs) an excessive dose

verb (ˌəʊvəˈdəʊs)

to take an excessive dose or give an excessive dose to
Derived Formsoverdosage, noun
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 overdose

1700, "an excessive dose," from over- + dose (n.).


1727, "to administer medicine in too large a dose" (transitive); from 1968 as "to take an overdose of drugs;" see over- + dose (v.). Related: Overdosed; overdosing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

overdose in Medicine




An excessive dose, especially of a narcotic.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.