[verb oh-ver-lap; noun oh-ver-lap]
See more synonyms for overlap on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), o·ver·lapped, o·ver·lap·ping.
  1. to lap over (something else or each other); extend over and cover a part of; imbricate.
  2. to cover and extend beyond (something else): The ends of cloth overlap the table.
  3. to coincide in part with; have in common with: two lives that overlapped each other.
verb (used without object), o·ver·lapped, o·ver·lap·ping.
  1. to lap over: two sales territories that overlap; fields of knowledge that overlap.
  1. an act or instance of overlapping.
  2. the extent or amount of overlapping: The second story of the building has an overlap of ten feet.
  3. an overlapping part.
  4. the place of overlapping.
  5. (in yacht racing) the position of two yachts side by side such that the overtaking boat, to pass the other on the opposite side, must fall back, or such that neither can turn toward the other without danger of collision.

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. 2018

Related Words for overlapped

flap, overlay, ride, project, overhang, protrude, overrun, imbricate, shingle, overlie

Examples from the Web for overlapped

Contemporary Examples of overlapped

Historical Examples of overlapped

  • The multitude of tracks in it overlapped and overlaid each other.

  • And the worst of it was that society mingled and overlapped so strangely.

    A Lost Cause

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull

  • All round were dingy mangroves that overlapped and hid the entrance.

    Wyndham's Pal

    Harold Bindloss

  • The answer came so suddenly that it overlapped the last words of his sentence.

    The House of Mystery

    William Henry Irwin

  • Sometimes they overlapped each other, and rose Uke an immense staircase.


    George A. Birmingham

British Dictionary definitions for overlapped


verb (ˌəʊvəˈlæp) -laps, -lapping or -lapped
  1. (of two things) to extend or lie partly over (each other)
  2. to cover and extend beyond (something)
  3. (intr) to coincide partly in time, subject, etc
noun (ˈəʊvəˌlæp)
  1. a part that overlaps or is overlapped
  2. the amount, length, etc, overlapping
  3. the act or fact of overlapping
  4. a place of overlapping
  5. 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 overlapped



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



1813, from overlap (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

overlapped in Medicine


  1. A part or portion of a structure that extends or projects over another.
  2. The suturing of one layer of tissue above or under another layer to provide additional strength, often used in dental surgery.
  1. To lie over and partly cover something.
  2. 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.