[ oh-ver-stey ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to stay beyond the time, limit, or duration of; outstay:

    to overstay one's welcome.

  2. Finance. to remain in (the market) beyond the point where a sale would have yielded the greatest profit.


/ ˌəʊvəˈsteɪ /


  1. to stay beyond the time, limit, or duration of
  2. finance to delay a transaction in (a market) until after the point at which the maximum profit would have been made
  3. to stay in New Zealand beyond (the period sanctioned by the immigration authorities or the period of a visitor's permit)
  4. overstay one's welcome or outstay one's welcome
    to stay (at a party, on a visit, etc), longer than pleases the host or hostess

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Word History and Origins

Origin of overstay1

First recorded in 1640–50; over- + stay 1

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Example Sentences

During the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, most Haitians were coming on student visas or tourist visas, and then if they didn’t have authorization to stay, they were overstaying their visa.

From Vox

Under the registry, if an immigrant has been living in the US since before a certain date, they are eligible to apply for permanent residence under federal law, regardless of whether they overstayed a visa or entered the US without authorization.

From Vox

The administration argued that TPS was not designed to grant long-term residency to foreigners who may have arrived illegally or overstayed their visas and that the “extraordinary conditions” that brought them to the country no longer existed.

In the heavily redacted email, the officer said they are pursuing a “straight-up Pleasure Visitor” accused of overstaying their visa, and that a search of unspecified utility records had showed that the target had “recently departed” from an address.

If they don’t leave their homes within 10 days of getting a notice from their landlords, they can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined for each day they overstay.

Some overstay their visas and some, he says, possibly arrive pregnant.

By often-cited estimate, fully one-quarter of illegal immigrants arrive legally, but then overstay their visas.

Once there are “boots on the ground,” they might get caught in the crossfire and overstay their welcome.

The senior official also worries that the Americans could overstay their welcome.

Still, he says, “you can overstay your welcome at the pinnacle.”

If I overstay my time I do not give myself worry—I know that she will understand that there are contingencies.

And if they do not, one does not overstay one's visa in the Soviet Union.

In three hours the vessel, not to overstay the bounds of neutral hospitality, returned to the ocean.

It will be readily believed that George Bertram did not overstay the three months.

If you overstay the limit and cannot return, you will be decontaminated just as we must be when we return to our own people.