- to reach or extend over or beyond: The shelf overreached the nook and had to be planed down.
- to go beyond, as a thing aimed at or sought: an arrow that had overreached the target.
- to stretch to excess, as by a straining effort: to overreach one's arm and strain a muscle.
- to defeat (oneself) by overdoing matters, often by excessive eagerness or cunning: In trying to promote disunity he had overreached himself.
- to strain or exert (oneself or itself) to the point of exceeding the purpose.
- to get the better of, especially by deceit or trickery; outwit: Every time you deal with them you wonder if they're overreaching you.
- to overtake.
- Obsolete. to overpower.
Origin of overreach
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for overreach
The danger of a potential Republican overreach or overreaction was clearly on the minds of people in both parties Wednesday.The Coming GOP Freakout Over Immigration
November 20, 2014
But U.S. intelligence officials say the secret to defeating ISIS may be to wait for its overreach to catch up with it.ISIS Baffling U.S. Intelligence Agencies
August 15, 2014
Overreach, though, is actually undermining the goal of the Russian separatists.Crimeans Are Resigned To Pro-Russia Vote
March 15, 2014
The two governors were supposed to stand as standard-bearers for the right against the overreach of Barack Obama.The Cash Money McDonnells
January 21, 2014
In other words, keep the focus on Obamacare and away from possible charges of overreach.Republicans Compromise on the Budget, but Don’t Expect Them To Compromise on the Debt Ceiling
December 18, 2013
Now in regard to this bread, the Papists do overreach themselves.Clare Avery
Emily Sarah Holt
She had taught him to get money; that it was shrewd and praiseworthy to overreach and deceive.Desk and Debit
Well, then, let me tell you that you will not overreach and deceive the Duke.The Champdoce Mystery
She knew this, and was resolved by caution to overreach those who dogged her so closely.The Dead Boxer
No man could overreach him, excepting only those to whom he gave his heart.The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume III.(of III) 1574-84
John Lothrop Motley
- (tr) to defeat or thwart (oneself) by attempting to do or gain too much
- (tr) to aim for but miss by going too far or attempting too much
- to get the better of (a person) by trickery
- (tr) to reach or extend beyond or over
- (intr) to reach or go too far
- (intr) (of a horse) to strike the back of a forefoot with the edge of the opposite hind foot
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 overreach
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper