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a prefixal use of over, preposition, adverb, or adjective, occurring in various senses in compounds (overboard; overcoat; overhang; overlap; overlord; overrun; overthrow), and especially employed, with the sense of “over the limit,” “to excess,” “too much,” “too,” to form verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and nouns (overact; overcapitalize; overcrowd; overfull; overmuch; oversupply; overweight), and many others, mostly self-explanatory: a hyphen, which is commonly absent from old or well-established formations, is sometimes used in new coinages or in any words whose component parts it may be desirable to set off distinctly.
Origin of over-
Middle English; Old English ofer-. See over Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for over-


excessive or excessively; beyond an agreed or desirable limit: overcharge, overdue, oversimplify
indicating superior rank: overseer
indicating location or movement above: overhang
indicating movement downwards: overthrow
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-

word-forming element meaning "above; highest; across; too much; above normal; outer," from Old English ofer (see over). Over and its Germanic relations were widely used as prefixes, and sometimes could be used with negative force, though this is rare in Modern English. Cf. Gothic ufarmunnon "to forget," ufar-swaran "to swear falsely;" Old English ofercræft "fraud."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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