the capacity of a nation to destroy, by nuclear weapons, more of an enemy than would be necessary for a military victory.
an instance of such destruction.
an excess of what is required or suitable, as because of zeal or misjudgment.

1945–50, Americanism; over- + kill1

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World English Dictionary
overkill (ˈəʊvəˌkɪl)
1.  the capability to deploy more weapons, esp nuclear weapons, than is necessary to ensure military advantage
2.  any capacity or treatment that is greater than that required or appropriate

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1958, from over + kill (v.). Originally in reference to nuclear arsenals; the general sense is from 1965. The verb is attested from 1946.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
What is appropriate for a bank, for example, would be overkill for a small
That's fine, as long as the league doesn't go overkill in the other direction.
Some worry the efforts are overkill and will become a sort of self-fulfilling
Yes, it's probably overkill for the needs of the average college student.
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