English edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English overwerken, possibly from Old English oferwyrċan (to overwork, overlay), equivalent to over- +‎ work. Cognate with Dutch overwerken (to overwork).

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) enPR: ō'və-wûkʹ, IPA(key): /ˌəʊvəˈwɜːk/
    • (file)
  • (US) enPR: ō'vər-wûrkʹ, IPA(key): /ˌoʊvɚˈwɝk/
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)k

Verb edit

overwork (third-person singular simple present overworks, present participle overworking, simple past and past participle overworked or overwrought)

  1. (transitive) To make (someone or something) work too hard.
    to overwork a horse
    • 1945 November snd December, Cecil J. Allen, “British Locomotive Practice and Performance”, in Railway Magazine, page 329:
      For some years locomotives and coaches have been overworked and undermaintained to a degree without precedent in British railway history, and the leeway in maintenance now to be made up is very great.
  2. (intransitive) To work too hard.
  3. (transitive) To fill too full of work; to crowd with labour.
  4. (transitive) To decorate all over.
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English overwerc, from Old English oferweorc, oferġeweorc (an overwork, superstructure, tomb), equivalent to over- +‎ work.

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) enPR: ōʹvə-wûk', IPA(key): /ˈəʊvəˌwɜːk/
    • (file)
  • (US) enPR: ōʹvər-wûrk', IPA(key): /ˈoʊvɚˌwɝk/

Noun edit

overwork (uncountable)

  1. a superstructure
  2. excessive work
    • 1878, Phosphorus in functional disorders of the nervous system, induced by overwork and other influences incidental to modern life:
      Various disordered conditions consequent upon overwork, which are characteristic of modern civilisation.
    • 1946 July and August, K. Westcott Jones, “Isle of Wight Central Railway—2”, in Railway Magazine, page 244:
      [] it had obtained from its constituents rather antiquated and inefficient equipment, which scarcely stood up to overwork; [] .
    • 1996, Wilkie Au, Urgings of the Heart: A Spirituality of Integration:
      When it comes to overwork, denial looms large.
    • 2003, Ernie J Zelinski, Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked:
      The Japanese term for sudden death from overwork.
Translations edit

See also edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit