[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. overdue,
  2. overdye,
  3. overeager,
  4. overeat,
  5. overegg,
  6. overemphasis,
  7. overemphasize,
  8. overenthusiastic,
  9. overestimate,
  10. overexcite

Origin of overelaborate

Related formso·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. 2019

Examples 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 Formsoverelaboration, 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