over- +‎ wound




  1. simple past tense and past participle of overwind


overwound (comparative more overwound, superlative most overwound)

  1. (figuratively, uncommon) Nervous, tense, jumpy.
    • 1949, Irwin Shaw, The Young Lions[1]:
      Everyone else Christian had had anything to do with, ever since the bad night outside Alexandria, had seemed to be overwound, jumpy, bitter, hysterical, overtired...
    • 1957, Richard Hoggart, The Uses Of Literacy[2]:
      He has left his class, at least in spirit, by being in certain ways unusual; and he is still unusual in another class, too tense and overwound.
    • 2004, Emma Holly, Strange Attractions[3], →ISBN, page 23:
      Eric's boss had accused him more than once of being a worrier, but Eric hadn't felt this overwound since his previous employer's stock underwent a dot-bomb implosion.
    • 2004 October 6, Sidney Blumenthal, “The master of Washington vs. the fox”, in Salon.com[4]:
      He [Cheney] could only exist with a chief executive self-absorbed in his resentments, narrow in experience and intellectual scope, and who does not hold his vice president accountable; an incompetent national security advisor, overwound in her eagerness to please; and a secretary of state who never presses his advantages but accepts his internal defeats, playing the good soldier.