[ adjective oh-ver-i-lab-er-it; verb oh-ver-i-lab-uh-reyt ]
/ adjective ˈoʊ vər ɪˈlæb ər ɪt; verb ˌoʊ vər ɪˈlæb əˌreɪt /


excessively or fussily elaborate, ornate, detailed, etc.

verb (used with object), o·ver·e·lab·o·rat·ed, o·ver·e·lab·o·rat·ing.

to render or present with excessive or fussy detail: He so overelaborates his jokes that they lose their humor.

verb (used without object), o·ver·e·lab·o·rat·ed, o·ver·e·lab·o·rat·ing.

to add excessive details, as in writing or speaking: He overelaborates to an extent that his novels must be cut radically before being published.



American English is not always as it appears to be ... get to know regional words in this quiz!
Question 1 of 10
A bet is synonymous with a wager, but what does it mean in New York?

Origin of overelaborate

OTHER WORDS FROM overelaborate

o·ver·e·lab·o·rate·ly, adverbo·ver·e·lab·o·ra·tion, o·ver·e·lab·o·rate·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for overelaborate

  • "I see," said I—for Mr. Brisher is apt to overelaborate his jokes.

  • It was a Cosway; but a Cosway broadened and without a hint of genteel namby-pamby or overelaborate finesse.

    Visionaries|James Huneker
  • We had had two meals, one of which was as totally unnecessary as the other was overelaborate.

    The Message|Alec John Dawson
  • It is a work unique, perhaps, in its design, but entirely unfeeling and preposterous in its overelaborate decorations.

British Dictionary definitions for overelaborate


adjective (ˌəʊvərɪˈlæbərɪt)

excessively ornate, detailed, or complex

verb (ˌəʊvərɪˈlæbəˌreɪt)

(tr) to detail or develop (an idea, plan, etc) excessively

Derived forms of overelaborate

overelaboration, 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