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overwrought

[oh-ver-rawt, oh-ver-] /ˈoʊ vərˈrɔt, ˌoʊ vər-/
adjective
1.
extremely or excessively excited or agitated:
to become overwrought on hearing bad news; an overwrought personality.
2.
elaborated to excess; excessively complex or ornate:
written in a florid, overwrought style.
3.
Archaic. wearied or exhausted by overwork.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; over- + wrought
Synonyms
1. overexcited, worked up, wrought up, distracted, frantic.

overwork

[v. oh-ver-wurk; n. oh-ver-wurk] /v. ˌoʊ vərˈwɜrk; n. ˈoʊ vərˌwɜrk/
verb (used with object)
1.
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.
2.
to work up, stir up, or excite excessively:
to overwork a mob to the verge of frenzy.
3.
to employ or elaborate to excess:
an appeal for sympathy that has been overworked by many speakers.
4.
to work or decorate all over; decorate the surface of:
white limestone overworked with inscriptions.
verb (used without object)
5.
to work too hard, too much, or too long; work to excess:
You look as though you've been overworking.
noun
6.
work beyond one's strength or capacity.
7.
extra or excessive work.
Origin
before 1000; Old English oferwyrcan. See over-, work
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for over-wrought

overwork

verb (mainly transitive) (ˌəʊvəˈwɜːk)
1.
(also intransitive) to work or cause to work too hard or too long
2.
to use too much: to overwork an excuse
3.
to decorate the surface of
4.
to work up
noun (ˈəʊvəˌwɜːk)
5.
excessive or excessively tiring work
Derived Forms
overworked, adjective

overwrought

/ˌəʊvəˈrɔːt/
adjective
1.
full of nervous tension; agitated
2.
too elaborate; fussy: an overwrought style
3.
(often postpositive) and foll by with. with the surface decorated or adorned
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-wrought

overwork

v.

"to cause to work too hard," 1520s, from over- + work (v.). Old English oferwyrcan meant "to work all over," i.e. "to decorate the whole surface of." Related: Overworked; overworking.

n.

"work beyond a person's strength," 1819; see overwork (v.). Old English oferweorc meant "a superstructure, sarcophagus, tomb."

overwrought

adj.

"worked up to too high a pitch," 1825, literally "over-worked," from over- + wrought. Earlier it meant "exhausted by work" (1660s) as a literal past participle of overwork.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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