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[oh-ver-boo k] /ˌoʊ vərˈbʊk/
verb (used with object)
to accept reservations for in excess of the number that can be accommodated:
The airline routinely overbooks its flights so as to fill its planes even if there are last-minute cancellations.
verb (used without object)
to accept reservations in excess of the number that can be accommodated:
If the hotel has overbooked, some of the conventioners won't have a place to stay.
Origin of overbook
1900-05; over- + book (v.) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overbook
  • Conferences become no fun in a hurry when you overbook yourself.
  • The airlines may alter scheduled stops, cancel or postpone flights on short notice, and regularly overbook flights.
  • Indicate whether to override the resource calendar and require the user to manually intervene to overbook resources.
  • We do not overbook appointments to prevent you and others from having to wait a lot longer for service.
  • Each clinic profile includes scheduling instructions for overbook capacity.
  • Currently submissions messages allow submissions to overbook a calendar.
British Dictionary definitions for overbook


(transitive) to make more reservations than there are places, tickets, hotel rooms, etc, available
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 overbook

"to sell more tickets than there are seats," 1903, from over- + book (v.); originally in reference to theaters. Related: Overbooked; overbooking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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