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From Middle English overchargen, equivalent to over- +‎ charge.


overcharge (third-person singular simple present overcharges, present participle overcharging, simple past and past participle overcharged)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To charge (somebody) more money than the correct amount or to surpass a certain limit while charging a bill.
  2. (transitive) To continue to charge (an electrical device) beyond its capacity.
  3. To charge (someone) with an inflated number or degree of legal charges (for example, charging them with a more serious crime than was committed); to upcharge.
    • 2015, Randall G. Shelden, William B. Brown, Karen S. Miller, Randal B. Fritzler, Crime and Criminal Justice in American Society: Second Edition, Waveland Press (→ISBN), page 184:
      The police, fully aware of the reality of plea bargaining, often overcharge (if they don't, then the prosecutor does). The police also may overcharge in order to develop informants.
  4. (transitive, dated) To charge or load too heavily; to burden; to oppress.
    • c. 1611, Walter Raleigh, Observations on the Navy and Sea Service
      it serves to no better use but only to labour and overcharge the ships' sides in any grown seas and foul weather.
  5. (transitive, dated) To fill too full; to crowd.
    • October 22, 1706, Alexander Pope, letter to Mr. Walsh
      Our language is naturally overcharged with consonants.
  6. (transitive, dated) To exaggerate.
    to overcharge a description




overcharge (plural overcharges)

  1. An excessive load or burden.
  2. An excessive charge in an account.