- to cause to work too hard, too much, or too long; weary or exhaust with work (often used reflexively): Don't overwork yourself on that new job.
- to work up, stir up, or excite excessively: to overwork a mob to the verge of frenzy.
- to employ or elaborate to excess: an appeal for sympathy that has been overworked by many speakers.
- to work or decorate all over; decorate the surface of: white limestone overworked with inscriptions.
- to work too hard, too much, or too long; work to excess: You look as though you've been overworking.
- work beyond one's strength or capacity.
- extra or excessive work.
Origin of overwork
Examples from the Web for overwork
By then she had only three years to live, and was becoming frail from overwork.Gertrude of Arabia, the Woman Who Invented Iraq
June 17, 2014
Chronic starvation, overwork, disease, and freezing temperatures were as effective as the bullet, only slower and crueler.Norman Manea Survived the Nazis and the Communists and Lived to Write About It
April 8, 2014
Dickens died young, at 58, worn out from overwork, from the sheer strain of being himself.Charles Dickens’s Unhappy Children
December 2, 2012
His master, who was naturally a kind man, did not overwork him.The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
It's a heap onadvisable when addressin' us to overwork that word "barbarian."Faro Nell and Her Friends
Alfred Henry Lewis
It might have been illness, or it might have been anxiety, or it might have been overwork.
He thought her case not very serious—the result, he said, of overwork.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
Yes, I am a little oppressed just now with overwork, nor is this avoidable.Hortus Inclusus
- (also intr) to work or cause to work too hard or too long
- to use too muchto overwork an excuse
- to decorate the surface of
- to work up
- excessive or excessively tiring work
Word Origin and History for overwork
"work beyond a person's strength," 1819; see overwork (v.). Old English oferweorc meant "a superstructure, sarcophagus, tomb."