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overwrought

[oh-ver-rawt, oh-ver-] /ˈoʊ vərˈrɔt, ˌoʊ vər-/
adjective
1.
extremely or excessively excited or agitated:
to become overwrought on hearing bad news; an overwrought personality.
2.
elaborated to excess; excessively complex or ornate:
written in a florid, overwrought style.
3.
Archaic. wearied or exhausted by overwork.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; over- + wrought
Synonyms
1. overexcited, worked up, wrought up, distracted, frantic.

overwork

[v. oh-ver-wurk; n. oh-ver-wurk] /v. ˌoʊ vərˈwɜrk; n. ˈoʊ vərˌwɜrk/
verb (used with object)
1.
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.
2.
to work up, stir up, or excite excessively:
to overwork a mob to the verge of frenzy.
3.
to employ or elaborate to excess:
an appeal for sympathy that has been overworked by many speakers.
4.
to work or decorate all over; decorate the surface of:
white limestone overworked with inscriptions.
verb (used without object)
5.
to work too hard, too much, or too long; work to excess:
You look as though you've been overworking.
noun
6.
work beyond one's strength or capacity.
7.
extra or excessive work.
Origin
before 1000; Old English oferwyrcan. See over-, work
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for overwrought
  • But higher educators also have the ability to verbalize their suffering in colorful and sometimes overwrought ways.
  • But in the experiment, readers judged the authors of the overwrought texts to be not-so-bright.
  • The cinema is fairly overwrought in all countries but must, surely, bear some relationship to reality.
  • The early comparisons dominating the airwaves strike some legal experts as overwrought.
  • The result is a series of overwrought episodes, desperately lacking a larger context and bordering on the absurd.
  • The account itself is clearly emotionally overwrought and contains wild speculation.
  • And on and on, through a series of overwrought zigs and zags that only intermittently make any inherent sense.
  • After so many savory dishes that make complexity look full of ease, the desserts feel oddly overwrought.
  • In fact, carrying the national flag the rest of the year has been seen as a sign of overwrought patriotism.
  • For all the overwrought phraseology in the rest of your comment, this doesn't make any sense.
British Dictionary definitions for overwrought

overwrought

/ˌəʊvəˈrɔːt/
adjective
1.
full of nervous tension; agitated
2.
too elaborate; fussy: an overwrought style
3.
(often postpositive) and foll by with. with the surface decorated or adorned

overwork

verb (mainly transitive) (ˌəʊvəˈwɜːk)
1.
(also intransitive) to work or cause to work too hard or too long
2.
to use too much: to overwork an excuse
3.
to decorate the surface of
4.
to work up
noun (ˈəʊvəˌwɜːk)
5.
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 overwrought
adj.

"worked up to too high a pitch," 1825, literally "over-worked," from over- + wrought. Earlier it meant "exhausted by work" (1660s) as a literal past participle of overwork.

overwork

v.

"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.

n.

"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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