- extremely or excessively excited or agitated: to become overwrought on hearing bad news; an overwrought personality.
- elaborated to excess; excessively complex or ornate: written in a florid, overwrought style.
- Archaic. wearied or exhausted by overwork.
Origin of overwrought
SynonymsSee more synonyms for overwrought on Thesaurus.com
- 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 overwrought
That was the last time the band allowed tepid performances and overwrought production overwhelm an otherwise solid set of songs.U2 Generously Gives Us a Lousy Album, Sucks at the Corporate Teat
September 13, 2014
Cuse: At first, I was a little apprehensive about jumping into a genre that seemed really overdone and overwrought.Vampires without Glitter or Girl Problems: Inside Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Strain’
July 14, 2014
By now I'm so overwrought with chi's and fu's and kong's and kung's that my eyes have about crossed.The Stacks: The Neville Brothers Stake Their Claim as Bards of the Bayou
John Ed Bradley
April 27, 2014
There has got to be a way to size up a new smartphone without devolving into the most overwrought tech clichés on the Internet.The World’s Most Sarcastic Product Review: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. iPhone
March 15, 2013
But efforts to call the legislation the “end of labor unions” are overwrought.One Tough Nerd—Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s Pragmatic Labor Stance
December 13, 2012
He remembered that she was overwrought, and made no answer to her complaint.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
So overwrought was she that she even thought of seeking the aid old Joe had proffered.The Night Riders
But that was just a first impression springing from overwrought nerves.The Man the Martians Made
Frank Belknap Long
I am nervous and overwrought, but I will regain my self-control.The Crevice
William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander
He can not easily believe it to be simply a chimera of an overwrought brain.Oswald Langdon
Carson Jay Lee
- full of nervous tension; agitated
- too elaborate; fussyan overwrought style
- (often postpositive and foll by with) with the surface decorated or adorned
- (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 overwrought
"work beyond a person's strength," 1819; see overwork (v.). Old English oferweorc meant "a superstructure, sarcophagus, tomb."