[adjective oh-ver-i-lab-er-it; verb oh-ver-i-lab-uh-reyt]


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.

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

Historical Examples of overelaborate

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

    The Message

    Alec John Dawson

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

  • It is a work unique, perhaps, in its design, but entirely unfeeling and preposterous in its overelaborate decorations.

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


    James Huneker

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