- (literally, military) A destructive capacity that exceeds that needed to destroy an enemy; especially with nuclear weapons.
- (by extension) An unnecessary excess of whatever is needed to achieve a goal.
- 24 hours of TV coverage of the US election verged on overkill.
- Should I give you yet more homework, or would that be overkill?
- (manufacturing) An unnecessary excess of disposal because of too high criteria of inspection.
- Antonym: underkill
an unnecessary excess of something (idiomatic)