Why was clemency trending last week?


[v. oh-ver-wurk; n. oh-ver-wurk] /v. ˌoʊ vərˈwɜrk; n. ˈoʊ vərˌwɜrk/
verb (used with object)
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.
to work up, stir up, or excite excessively:
to overwork a mob to the verge of frenzy.
to employ or elaborate to excess:
an appeal for sympathy that has been overworked by many speakers.
to work or decorate all over; decorate the surface of:
white limestone overworked with inscriptions.
verb (used without object)
to work too hard, too much, or too long; work to excess:
You look as though you've been overworking.
work beyond one's strength or capacity.
extra or excessive work.
Origin of overwork
before 1000; Old English oferwyrcan. See over-, work Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overwork
  • It's too bad that people are jumping on the bandwagon and saying that he was trying to overwork the dog.
  • Dubbed colony collapse disorder, the deaths have been linked to pesticides, disease and overwork.
  • In these days half our diseases come from the neglect of the body in the overwork of the brain.
  • overwork has become the norm, in academia and elsewhere, and nothing good has come from it.
  • My body isn't the only thing feeling strained with overwork these days.
  • Many universities are short on staff members and overwork them.
  • But the damage is not caused by overwork, it's caused by multiple distracted work.
  • The demands of fame and the strain of overwork, however, were taking their toll.
  • It was no time to debate the finer points of overwork or the human limits of continuous improvement.
  • overwork and job spill would perhaps be bearable if one were being well paid for it.
British Dictionary definitions for overwork


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

"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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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