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[oh-ver-steyt] /ˌoʊ vərˈsteɪt/
verb (used with object), overstated, overstating.
to state too strongly; exaggerate:
to overstate one's position in a controversy.
1630-40; over- + state
Related forms
overstatement, noun
overstress, embroider, magnify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overstated
  • The results are frequently unique to the state, and the significance of the outcome is often overstated.
  • Some of the worries about the dangers posed by sovereign funds are overstated.
  • Most of this concern, however, appears to be overstated.
  • Representatives for the ethanol industry say that the share of corn used for ethanol is typically overstated.
  • The reserves may be large, but they may be overstated too.
  • The complexity of any rebuilding effort cannot be overstated, and this quick rundown is unavoidably narrow in its focus.
  • But while scientific support for play can be overstated, sometimes the criticism of play can be unfounded.
  • Their importance in the development of human culture cannot be overstated.
  • The charm of the the simple declarative sentence cannot be overstated.
  • The costs of having professional, full-time teaching faculty are greatly overstated.
British Dictionary definitions for overstated


(transitive) to state too strongly; exaggerate or overemphasize
Derived Forms
overstatement, noun
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 overstated



1630s, "assume too much grandeur;" see over- + state (n.1). Meaning "state too strongly" is attested from 1798, from state (v.). Related: Overstated, overstating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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