View synonyms for overwrought


[ oh-ver-rawt, oh-ver- ]


  1. extremely or excessively excited or agitated:

    to become overwrought on hearing bad news; an overwrought personality.

    Synonyms: frantic, distracted

  2. elaborated to excess; excessively complex or ornate:

    written in a florid, overwrought style.

  3. Archaic. wearied or exhausted by overwork.


/ ˌəʊvəˈrɔːt /


  1. full of nervous tension; agitated
  2. too elaborate; fussy

    an overwrought style

  3. often postpositiveand foll bywith with the surface decorated or adorned

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Word History and Origins

Origin of overwrought1

First recorded in 1660–70; over- + wrought
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Example Sentences

On Thursday, for example, the New York Times reported that there had been a surge in children being hospitalized with covid-19, precisely the sort of thing that an admittedly overwrought parent doesn’t want to hear.

The condition and its ability to cause sudden death in agitated people is often the basis of officers’ claims that overwrought individuals had to be restrained with great force, for their own good.

From Time

The public and media are consumed with the overwrought judgement of every result.

That was the last time the band allowed tepid performances and overwrought production overwhelm an otherwise solid set of songs.

Cuse: At first, I was a little apprehensive about jumping into a genre that seemed really overdone and overwrought.

Her own records are exceptionally thoughtful, but in the context of pop radio, they can sometimes seem overwrought.

By now I'm so overwrought with chi's and fu's and kong's and kung's that my eyes have about crossed.

Finally, there was the Donald—who was vastly less overwrought than LaPierre but also vastly less coherent.

The effect was that of a bird of Paradise bringing balm to our overwrought nerves.

After his music lesson, or after having improvised for any length of time, he was invariably overwrought and excited.

He shrewdly suspected that the infinite peace of the landscape would prove the best tonic for her overwrought mind.

Was it not merely some illusion of my overwrought and distracted spirit?

The child was overwrought, and a sudden dread seized hold of her.


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