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

verb (used with object), o·ver·set, o·ver·set·ting.

to upset or overturn; overthrow.
to throw into confusion; disorder physically or mentally.

verb (used without object), o·ver·set, o·ver·set·ting.

to become upset, overturned, or overthrown.
  1. (of type or copy) to set in or to excess.
  2. (of space) to set too much type for.


the act or fact of oversetting; upset; overturn.
Also called overmatter. Printing. matter set up in excess of space.

Origin of overset

1150–1200; Middle English oversetten; see over-, set
Related formso·ver·set·ter, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overset

Historical Examples of overset

  • Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset.

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "I have said already that we'll overset it with our hands," Grey answered.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • Manuel, with great suavity, had overset the former and defied the latter.

    Plotting in Pirate Seas

    Francis Rolt-Wheeler

  • He rushed into the centre of it, and overset the bride in her gilded wagon.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • The rockers must be pointed and have plenty of circle so it would not overset easily.

British Dictionary definitions for overset


verb (ˌəʊvəˈsɛt) -sets, -setting or -set (tr)

to disturb or upset
printing to set (type or copy) in excess of the space available

noun (ˈəʊvəˌsɛt)

another name for overmatter
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