overlay (v.)
"to cover the surface of (something)," c. 1300, in part from Old English oferlecgan "to place over," also "to overburden," and in part from over- + lay (v.). There also was an overlie in Middle English, but it merged into this word. Similar compounds are found in other Germanic languages, such as Gothic ufarlagjan. Related: Overlaid; overlaying.
overlay (n.)
in the printing sense, 1824, from overlay (v.). Meaning "transparent sheet over a map, chart, etc." is from 1938. In earliest noun use it meant "a necktie" (1725).
overlie (v.)
late 12c., from over- + lie (v.2), or from an unrecorded Old English *oferlicgan. "In use from 12th to 16th c.; in 17-18th displaced by overlay; reintroduced in 19th c., chiefly in geological use." [OED]. Related: Overlay; overlain.
overload (v.)
1550s, "to place too great a burden on," from over- + load (v.). Intransitive sense from 1961. Related: Overloaded; overloading. The noun is attested from 1640s; of electrical current, from 1904. Middle English had overlade (v.) in this sense.
overlong (adj.)
"excessively long," early 14c., from over- + long (adj.). Middle English also had overshort "too short, too brief."
overlook (v.)
mid-14c., "to examine, scrutinize, inspect," from over- + look (v.). Another Middle English sense was "to peer over the top of." These two literal senses have given rise to the two main modern meanings. Meaning "to look over or beyond and thus not see," via notion of "to choose to not notice" is first recorded 1520s. Seemingly contradictory sense of "to watch over officially, keep an eye on, superintend" is from 1530s. Related: Overlooked; overlooking. In Shekaspeare's day, overlooking also was a common term for "inflicting the evil eye on" (someone or something).
overlord (n.)
c. 1200, from over- + lord (n.). Chosen 1943 as the Allied code-word for the D-Day invasion of northern France.
overly (adv.)
"excessively," Old English oferlice; see over + -ly (2). Often "regarded as an Americanism in the U.K." [OED].
overmaster (v.)
mid-14c., from over- + master (v.). Related: Overmastered; overmastering.
overmatch (v.)
mid-14c., "be more than a match for," from over- + match (v.). Related: Overmatched; overmatching.
overmuch (adj.)
"too great in amount," c. 1300, over- + much (q.v.). As an adverb from late 14c. Old English had cognate ofermicel.
overnight (adv.)
early 14c., from over- + night (n.). Originally "on the preceding evening;" sense of "during the night" is attested from 1530s. Meaning "in the course of a single night, hence seemingly instantaneously" is attested from 1939.
overpark (v.)
1938, American English, from over- + park (v.). Related: Overparked; overparking.
overpass (n.)
"stretch of road that passes over another," 1929, American English, from over- + pass (v.). + Overpass has been a verb since late 13c.
overpay (v.)
c. 1600, from over- + pay (v.). Related: Overpaid; overpaying.
overplay (v.)
"to emphasize (something) too much," 1933, a metaphor from card games, in to overplay (one's) hand, "to spoil one's hand by bidding in excess of its value" (1926), from over- + play (v.). The word was used earlier in a theatrical sense. Related: Overplayed; overplaying.
overpower (v.)
"to overcome with superior power," 1590s, from over- + power (v.). Related: Overpowered; overpowering.
overprice (v.)
"to price (something) excessively high," c. 1600, from over- + price (v.). Related: Overpriced; overpricing.
overproduction (n.)
1822, from over- + production.
overprotection (n.)
1929, originally in reference to children, from over- + protection.
overprotective (adj.)
also over-protective, 1930, from over- + protective. Related: Overprotectively; overprotectiveness.
overrate (v.)
1610s, from over- + rate (v.). Related: Overrated; overrating.
overreach (v.)
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.
override (v.)
Old English oferridan "to ride across," from ofer "over" (see over) + ridan "to ride" (see ride (v.)). Originally literal, of cavalry, etc. Figurative meaning "to set aside arrogantly" is from 1827. The mechanical sense "to suspend automatic operation" is attested from 1946. As a noun in this sense from 1946. Related: Overrode; overriding; overridden.
overrule (v.)
"rule against; set aside, as by a higher authority," 1590s, from over- + rule (v.). It was used earlier in a sense "to govern, control" (1570s). Related: Overruled; overruling.
overrun (v.)
Old English oferyrnan; see over- + run (v.). The noun meaning "excess expenditure over budget" is from 1956. Related: Overran; overrunning.
overseas (adj.)
1580s, from over + sea. Popularized during World War I as a British euphemism for "colonial."
oversee (v.)
Old English oferseon "to look down upon, keep watch over, survey, observe;" see over + see (v.). Meaning "to supervise" is attested from mid-15c. The verb lacks the double sense of similar overlook, but this emerges in the noun form oversight. Related: Oversaw; overseen.
overseer (n.)
late 14c., agent noun from oversee (v.).
overshadow (v.)
Old English ofersceadwian "to cast a shadow over, obscure;" see over + shadow (v.). It was used to render Latin obumbrare in New Testament, as were Middle High German überschatewen, Middle Dutch overschaduwen, Gothic ufarskadwjan. Figurative sense is from 1580s. Related: Overshadowed; overshadowing.
overshoe (n.)
1829, from over- + shoe (n.). Related: Overshoes.
overshoot (v.)
mid-14c., "to shoot, run, or pass beyond (a point or limit)," over- + shoot (v.). Related: Overshot; overshooting.
overshot (adj.)
1530s, in reference to water-wheels, "driven by water shot over from above," past participle adjective from overshoot.
oversight (n.)
"supervision," early 14c., from over- + sight. Meaning "omission of notice, fact of passing over without seeing" attested from late 15c.; compare oversee.
oversimplification (n.)
also over-simpification, 1835, from over- + simplification.
oversimplify (v.)
1908, from over- + simplify. Related: Oversimplified; oversimplifying.
oversized (adj.)
1788, past participle adjective from oversize "make too large" (1670s), from over- + size (v.).
oversleep (v.)
late 14c., from over- + sleep (v.). Related: Overslept; oversleeping. Old English had a noun oferslæp "too much sleep."
overspend (v.)
1610s, "to wear out," from over- + spend. Meaning "to spend more than is necessary" is attested from 1857. Related: Overspent; overspending.
overspread (v.)
c. 1200, "to spread throughout," from over- + spread (v.). Related: Overspread (past tense); overspreading. Old English had ofersprædan "to overlay, cover."
overstand (v.)
"to stand over or beside," from Old English oferstandan; see over- + stand (v.).
overstate (v.)
1630s, "assume too much grandeur;" see over- + state (n.1). Meaning "state too strongly" is attested from 1798, from state (v.). Related: Overstated, overstating.
overstatement (n.)
1803, from over- + statement.
overstep (v.)
Old English ofersteppan "to step over or beyond, cross, exceed;" see over- + step (v.). From the beginning used in figurative senses. Related: Overstepped; overstepping.
overstock (v.)
1640s, from over- + stock (v.). Related: Overstocked; overstocking. The noun is attested from 1710.
overstrong (adj.)
"too powerful, too harsh," early 13c., from over- + strong (adj.).
overt (adj.)
early 14c., "open to view," from Old French overt (Modern French ouvert), past participle of ovrir "to open," from Latin aperire "to open, uncover," from PIE compound *ap-wer-yo- from *ap- "off, away" (see apo-) + root *wer- (4) "to cover." Compare Latin operire "to cover," from the same root with PIE prefix *op- "over;" and Lithuanian atveriu "open," uzveriu "shut."
overtake (v.)
"to come up to, to catch in pursuit," early 13c., from over- + take (v.). According to OED, originally "the running down and catching of a fugitive or beast of chase"; it finds the sense of over- in this word "not so clear." Related: Overtaken; overtaking. Old English had oferniman "to take away, carry off, seize, ravish."
overtax (v.)
1640s, "to demand too much of," from over- + tax (v.). Related: Overtaxed; overtaxing.
overthrow (v.)
early 14c., "to knock down," from over- + throw (v.). Figurative sense of "to cast down from power, defeat" is attested from late 14c. Related: Overthrown; overthrowing. Earlier in same senses was overwerpen "to overturn (something), overthrow; destroy," from Old English oferweorpan (see warp (v.)).