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verb (used with object)
  1. to heat to excess.
  2. to excite or agitate; make vehement: a crowd overheated by rabble-rousers.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become overheated: a stove that overheats alarmingly; a temper that overheats with little provocation.
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  1. the state or condition of being overheated; excessive heat, agitation, or vehemence.
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Origin of overheat

First recorded in 1350–1400, overheat is from the Middle English word overheten. See over-, heat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for overheat


  1. to make or become excessively hot
  2. (tr; often passive) to make very agitated, irritated, etc
  3. (intr) (of an economy) to tend towards inflation, often as a result of excessive growth in demand
  4. (tr) to cause (an economy) to tend towards inflation
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  1. the condition of being overheated
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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 overheat


"to make too hot" (transitive), late 14c., from over- + heat (v.). Intransitive sense "to become too hot" is from 1902, originally in reference to motor engines. Related: Overheated; overheating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper