View synonyms for overkill


[ oh-ver-kil ]


  1. the capacity of a nation to destroy, by nuclear weapons, more of an enemy than would be necessary for a military victory.
  2. an instance of such destruction.
  3. an excess of what is required or suitable, as because of zeal or misjudgment.


/ ˈəʊvəˌkɪl /


  1. the capability to deploy more weapons, esp nuclear weapons, than is necessary to ensure military advantage
  2. any capacity or treatment that is greater than that required or appropriate

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Word History and Origins

Origin of overkill1

An Americanism dating back to 1945–50; over- + kill 1

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Example Sentences

The outsole is understated enough to not feel like overkill if you wear them around town, but the boots handled any trail I threw at them.

CTV advertising needs to be more relevant to viewers and there’s an urgent demand for more effective targeting that engages viewers without reaching the point of overkill.

From Digiday

The Core i7 might seem like overkill for most users, but it has the processing power needed to handle multi-window applications.

In the same whacked-out year, we were forced to live without a hearty sports schedule for four dispiriting months, only to spend the next three months navigating a web of sports overkill.

It can be a total overkill for anything short, but a great choice if you’re writing something considerably long or are just overwhelmed by the amount of elements in your work.

The Israeli response to the heinous crimes committed by Palestinians often seems overkill.

Do you tell [people] the shocking truth -- that he was practically cut in half from the overkill of ammo fired into his body?

It might be a little overkill for a police officer, but it makes for one very memorable robot.

While we may have reached peak Downey here, his gift for gab—even under the most dire of circumstances—never seems like overkill.

She denied that the 10 days of constant attacks amounted to overkill.

I won't neglect my responsibility for sound regulations that serve the public good, but regulatory overkill must be stopped.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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