[ oh-ver-rahyt ]

verb (used with object)

, o·ver·wrote, o·ver·writ·ten, o·ver·writ·ing.
  1. to write in too elaborate, burdensome, diffuse, or prolix a style:

    He overwrites his essays to the point of absurdity.

  2. to write in excess of the requirements, especially so as to defeat the original intention:

    That young playwright tends to overwrite her big scenes.

  3. to write on or over; cover with writing:

    a flyleaf overwritten with a dedication.

verb (used without object)

, o·ver·wrote, o·ver·writ·ten, o·ver·writ·ing.
  1. to write too elaborately:

    The problem with so many young authors is that they tend to overwrite.


/ ˌəʊvəˈraɪt /


  1. to write (something) in an excessively ornate or prolix style
  2. to write too much about (someone or something)
  3. to write on top of (other writing)
  4. to record on a storage medium, such as a magnetic disk, thus destroying what was originally recorded there

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Word History and Origins

Origin of overwrite1

First recorded in 1690–1700; over- + write

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Example Sentences

Even though the crosses were effectively overwriting the Jewish identity of the site this does not mean that they were malicious.

Google also offers clear examples about the types of titles it intended to overwrite, so you can evaluate whether your titles fall into any of those categories.

That can be troublesome if you delete too much or accidentally overwrite a chunk of text.

It prevents data from being overwritten or altered, but this comes at an intensive energy cost.

It gets that first sensory input, it writes it down on the piece of paper, and then it rotates that piece of paper 90 degrees so that it can write in a new sensory input without interfering or literally overwriting.

They can overwrite headlines and rewrite articles on news sites such as this one.

Aymer had sought rather to overwrite the rude scrawl of Marley Sartin than to erase it.