Why was clemency trending last week?


[oh-ver-reech] /ˌoʊ vərˈritʃ/
verb (used with object)
to reach or extend over or beyond:
The shelf overreached the nook and had to be planed down.
to go beyond, as a thing aimed at or sought:
an arrow that had overreached the target.
to stretch to excess, as by a straining effort:
to overreach one's arm and strain a muscle.
to defeat (oneself) by overdoing matters, often by excessive eagerness or cunning:
In trying to promote disunity he had overreached himself.
to strain or exert (oneself or itself) to the point of exceeding the purpose.
to get the better of, especially by deceit or trickery; outwit:
Every time you deal with them you wonder if they're overreaching you.
to overtake.
Obsolete. to overpower.
verb (used without object)
to reach or extend over something.
to reach too far:
In grabbing for the rope he overreached and fell.
to cheat others.
(of a running or walking horse) to strike, or strike and injure, the forefoot with the hind foot.
Nautical. to sail on a tack longer than is desirable or was intended; overstand.
Origin of overreach
1250-1300; Middle English; see over-, reach
Related forms
overreacher, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overreach
  • But the bill may overreach its intentions, some worry.
  • But such instances of interpretive overreach are scarce.
  • Publishers have lobbied against the federal program, calling it an example of government overreach.
  • In economics, uncertainty unsettles the markets, causing key actors to miscalculate or overreach.
  • These distinguished poems do not overreach themselves with natter of private affairs better left unpublished.
  • Ironically, the failure of experts to recognize when they overreach can be explained by insights from behavioral economics.
  • It is here that the book begins to overreach itself.
  • On the other hand, it seems that powerful unions frequently overreach in advocating for their members.
  • Yet from the point of view of liberty, there is a serious danger of overreach, and therefore grounds for caution.
  • The current crisis itself owes much to governmental overreach.
British Dictionary definitions for overreach


(transitive) to defeat or thwart (oneself) by attempting to do or gain too much
(transitive) to aim for but miss by going too far or attempting too much
to get the better of (a person) by trickery
(transitive) to reach or extend beyond or over
(intransitive) to reach or go too far
(intransitive) (of a horse) to strike the back of a forefoot with the edge of the opposite hind foot
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 overreach

c.1300, "to reach above or beyond" (transitive), from over- + reach (v.). Meaning "to extend over something, to cover it" is from c.1400. Sense of "to reach beyond one's strength" is from 1560s. As a noun from 1550s. Related: Overreached; overreaching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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