[adjective, noun oh-ver-shot; verb oh-ver-shot]


driven over the top of, as by water passing over from above.
having the upper jaw projecting beyond the lower, as a dog.


simple past tense and past participle of overshoot.


(in weaving) a pattern formed when filling threads are passed over several warp threads at a time.

Origin of overshot

First recorded in 1525–35; over- + shot1


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

verb (used with object), o·ver·shot, o·ver·shoot·ing.

to shoot or go over, beyond, or above; miss: The missile overshot its target.
to pass or go by or beyond (a point, limit, etc.): to overshoot a stop sign.
to shoot or pour down over: turbulent water overshooting the top of the dam.
to overreach (oneself or itself); go further than is intended or proper; go too far: It looked as though his self-confidence had overshot itself.
(of an aircraft or pilot) to fly too far along (a landing strip) in attempting to land.

verb (used without object), o·ver·shot, o·ver·shoot·ing.

to fly or go beyond.
to shoot over or above a mark.


a shooting beyond a specified point or target: two overshoots in the missile test series.
the amount of excessive distance in a trajectory or route: a two-mile overshoot on the artillery range.

Origin of overshoot

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at over-, shoot1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overshot

Contemporary Examples of overshot

Historical Examples of overshot

  • The huntsmen, in their haste, overshot the place of his concealment.

  • Sometimes we overshot the target, but more often we were short of it.

    High Adventure

    James Norman Hall

  • A shade later, and they must have overshot the mark; a shade sooner, and a miss.

    Bob, Son of Battle

    Alfred Ollivant

  • But Wanaha in her womanish enthusiasm had overshot her mark.

  • I saw I had overshot the mark: when he takes that tone, you are nowhere.

    A Pessimist

    Robert Timsol

British Dictionary definitions for overshot



having or designating an upper jaw that projects beyond the lower jaw, esp when considered as an abnormality
(of a water wheel) driven by a flow of water that passes over the wheel rather than under itCompare undershot


verb -shoots, -shooting or -shot

to shoot or go beyond (a mark or target)
to cause (an aircraft) to fly or taxi too far along (a runway) during landing or taking off, or (of an aircraft) to fly or taxi too far along a runway
(tr) to pass swiftly over or down over, as water over a wheel


an act or instance of overshooting
the extent of such overshooting
a momentary excessive response of an electrical or mechanical system
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 overshot

1530s, in reference to water-wheels, "driven by water shot over from above," past participle adjective from overshoot.



mid-14c., "to shoot, run, or pass beyond (a point or limit)," over- + shoot (v.). Related: Overshot; overshooting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for overshot




A change from steady state in response to a sudden change in some factor, as in electric potential or polarity when a cell or tissue is stimulated.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.