• synonyms


[verb oh-ver-hang; noun oh-ver-hang]
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verb (used with object), o·ver·hung, o·ver·hang·ing.
  1. to hang or be suspended over: A great chandelier overhung the ballroom.
  2. to extend, project, or jut over: A wide balcony overhangs the garden.
  3. to impend over or threaten, as danger or evil; loom over: The threat of war overhung Europe.
  4. to spread throughout; permeate; pervade: the melancholy that overhung the proceedings.
  5. Informal. to hover over, as a threat or menace: Unemployment continues to overhang the economic recovery.
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verb (used without object), o·ver·hung, o·ver·hang·ing.
  1. to hang over; project or jut out over something below: How far does the balcony overhang?
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  1. something that extends or juts out over; projection.
  2. the extent of projection, as of the bow of a ship.
  3. Informal. an excess or surplus: an overhang of office space in midtown.
  4. a threat or menace: to face the overhang of foreign reprisals.
  5. Architecture. a projecting upper part of a building, as a roof or balcony.
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Origin of overhang

First recorded in 1590–1600; over- + hang
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for overhang

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was the overhang of the river, and when I dropped through I found myself in the water.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • Always have I known that this danger must overhang you as a penalty for loving me.

  • The tool may overhang the lens by a quarter of the diameter of the latter as a maximum.

    On Laboratory Arts

    Richard Threlfall

  • You will note that the sides of the top or seat have an overhang of ½ inch on each margin.

  • The men have not since ventured under the overhang of the poop.

British Dictionary definitions for overhang


verb (ˌəʊvəˈhæŋ) -hangs, -hanging or -hung
  1. to project or extend beyond (a surface, building, etc)
  2. (tr) to hang or be suspended over
  3. (tr) to menace, threaten, or dominate
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noun (ˈəʊvəˌhæŋ)
  1. a formation, object, part of a structure, etc, that extends beyond or hangs over something, such as an outcrop of rock overhanging a mountain face
  2. the amount or extent of projection
  3. aeronautics
    1. half the difference in span of the main supporting surfaces of a biplane or other multiplane
    2. the distance from the outer supporting strut of a wing to the wing tip
  4. finance the shares, collectively, that the underwriters have to buy when a new issue has not been fully taken up by the market
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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 overhang


1590s, from over- + hang (v.). Related: Overhung; overhanging.

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"fact of overhanging," 1864, from overhang (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper