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overkill

[oh-ver-kil] /ˈoʊ vərˌkɪl/
noun
1.
the capacity of a nation to destroy, by nuclear weapons, more of an enemy than would be necessary for a military victory.
2.
an instance of such destruction.
3.
an excess of what is required or suitable, as because of zeal or misjudgment.
Origin
1945-1950
1945-50, Americanism; over- + kill1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for over kill

overkill

/ˈəʊvəˌkɪl/
noun
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for over kill

overkill

n.

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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Slang definitions & phrases for over kill

overkill

noun

An excess, esp of needed action: Going twice would be overkill, don't you think?

[1958+; fr the use of the term in connection with the killing potential of nuclear arms and arsenals]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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