verb (used with object)

to tax too heavily.
to make too great demands on.

Origin of overtax

First recorded in 1640–50; over- + tax
Related formso·ver·tax·a·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overtax

Historical Examples of overtax

  • You racket about and overtax your strength and excite yourself.

  • "The reading seems to overtax your strength," said the woman giggling.

  • It would be easy to overtax our attention by going into too wide a field.


    Clement Bailhache

  • He had done well enough and he did not want to overtax his horse.

    Jack Among the Indians

    George Bird Grinnell

  • He will not try to overtax his strength, and he goes on strike firmly if asked to do too much.

    G. H. Q.

    Frank Fox

British Dictionary definitions for overtax


verb (tr)

to tax too heavily
to impose too great a strain on
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 overtax

1640s, "to demand too much of," from over- + tax (v.). Related: Overtaxed; overtaxing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper