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[oh-ver-doo] /ˌoʊ vərˈdu/
verb (used with object), overdid, overdone, overdoing.
to do to excess; overindulge in:
to overdo dieting.
to carry to excess or beyond the proper limit:
He puts on so much charm that he overdoes it.
to overact (a part); exaggerate.
to overtax the strength of; fatigue; exhaust.
to cook too much or too long; overcook:
Don't overdo the hamburgers.
verb (used without object), overdid, overdone, overdoing.
to do too much; go to an extreme:
Exercise is good but you mustn't overdo.
Origin of overdo
before 1000; Middle English overdon, Old English oferdōn. See over-, do1
Related forms
overdoer, noun
Can be confused
overdo, overdue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overdo
  • And at the moment of truth, at contact, you overdo it.
  • It had to be dealt with swiftly and harshly, but you can also overdo things.
  • As to the minority who seriously overdo it, research suggests that they display addictive behaviour in other ways too.
  • The risk with such crude measures is that it is easy to overdo things and cause a more severe contraction than intended.
  • Unions are guardians of the vulnerable, but they must not overdo it.
  • However, do not overdo the exercise because you have taken medicine.
  • Lower risk of brain impairment seen in those who enjoy alcohol, but don't overdo it, review finds.
  • Keep your schedule as routine as possible, and don't overdo it.
  • Be careful to not overdo it or the nuts may turn into a paste.
  • Working in a hot environment is a stress on your body, so don't overdo it.
British Dictionary definitions for overdo


verb (transitive) -does, -doing, -did, -done
to take or carry too far; do to excess
to exaggerate, overelaborate, or overplay
to cook or bake too long
overdo it, overdo things, to overtax one's strength, capacity, etc
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 overdo

Old English oferdon "to do too much," from ofer (see over) + don (see do (v.)). Common Germanic (cf. Old High German ubartuan). Meaning "to overtax, exhaust" (especially in phrase to overdo it) is attested from 1817. Of food, "to cook too long," first recorded 1680s (in past participle adjective overdone).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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