overwind

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

over- +‎ wind

VerbEdit

overwind (third-person singular simple present overwinds, present participle overwinding, simple past and past participle overwound)

  1. (transitive) To wind (tighten a spring of) something excessively.
    • 1989 July 4, Jacquin Sanders, “What makes a watchmaker tick?”, in St. Petersburg Times[1]:
      People also come in full of misgivings about "overwinding" their watches. "You can't overwind a watch - you can only underwind it," said McKelvey.
    • 1996 April 21, Jenny Gilbert, “Golden oldies reveal the three faces of Ashton”, in The Independent[2]:
      In a typical Morris cock-snook at classical technique, tutu-ed dancers prance Bambi-like across the stage. On and off, on and off, with fixed smiles like overwound clockwork dolls: it should have been charming and funny, but despite stylish individual efforts, the ragged ensemble meant the joke fell flat.
    • 2000 December 16, Dennis Roddy, “The unbearable lightness of being Al Gore”, in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette[3]:
      I met him 10 years ago in a hallway in Harrisburg and departed with the image of a man whose psyche approximated a badly overwound clock: Everything is tight and in place, but nothing's moving.
  2. To twist itself more tightly.
    • 2006 August 7, “Surprise Finding for Stretched DNA. [summary]”, in Ascribe Higher Education News Service[4]:
      DNA's helical structure implies that twisting and stretching should be coupled, hence the prediction that DNA should unwind when stretched [] That is why it was such surprise when we directly measured twist-stretch coupling to find instead DNA overwinds when stretched.