[verb oh-ver-lap; noun oh-ver-lap]

verb (used with object), o·ver·lapped, o·ver·lap·ping.

verb (used without object), o·ver·lapped, o·ver·lap·ping.

to lap over: two sales territories that overlap; fields of knowledge that overlap.


Origin of overlap

First recorded in 1685–95; over- + lap2
Related formsnon·o·ver·lap·ping, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overlap

Contemporary Examples of overlap

Historical Examples of overlap

  • The top is also cut to shape from cigar-box wood, and should overlap about 1/4 inch.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • When setting the legs on to the band, place them so as to overlap each other.

  • So numerous are these old pictures that they overlap each other upon the walls.


    Charles Reginald Enock

  • In less than ten minutes her head will overlap the stern of her rival.

    The Quadroon

    Mayne Reid

  • Slowly but surely his shell began to overlap that of Si Peters.

British Dictionary definitions for overlap


verb (ˌəʊvəˈlæp) -laps, -lapping or -lapped

(of two things) to extend or lie partly over (each other)
to cover and extend beyond (something)
(intr) to coincide partly in time, subject, etc

noun (ˈəʊvəˌlæp)

a part that overlaps or is overlapped
the amount, length, etc, overlapping
the act or fact of overlapping
a place of overlapping
geology the horizontal extension of the upper beds in a series of rock strata beyond the lower beds, usually caused by submergence of the land
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 overlap

"to partially extend over," 1726, over- + lap (v.). Related: Overlapped; overlapping.


1813, from overlap (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

overlap in Medicine




A part or portion of a structure that extends or projects over another.
The suturing of one layer of tissue above or under another layer to provide additional strength, often used in dental surgery.


To lie over and partly cover something.
To perform a surgical overlap.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.