Meaning of overwork in English:


Pronunciation /əʊvəˈwəːk/

See synonyms for overwork

Translate overwork into Spanish


[with object]
  • 1Cause (someone) to work beyond their capacity or strength.

    ‘employers should be aware that overworking their employees comes at a cost’
    • ‘his bodyguards claim they've been overworked and underpaid for years’
    • ‘You'll be overworked and exhausted there, too.’
    • ‘These jobs can be done by one extraordinary and exhaustingly overworked person, or they can be shared among the available people according to ability, interest and need.’
    • ‘A major altercation was narrowly avoided as 250 thirsty guests swamped the overpriced bar, demanding a drink from one of two hopelessly overworked bar staff.’
    • ‘Now health service staff are overworked at all levels, GP's overloaded with patients and health centres are overcrowded.’
    • ‘The most simple way to cut spending is to cut salaries for all doctors, but health-care staff are already overworked.’
    • ‘As long as there are fast food chains, there will always be underpaid and overworked line staff.’
    • ‘Not that I blame anyone, what with the way the NHS is underfunded and staff are overworked.’
    • ‘Equipment is not replaced after it has worn out, positions are left unfilled and staff are dangerously overworked.’
    • ‘Morale is really low among staff and already some are leaving because they are overworked.’
    • ‘If your staff is overworked or overextended, it will inevitably show in their attitudes toward customers.’
    • ‘Julie worries about her husband being overworked and dreams of taking a vacation trip with him, perhaps to Paris.’
    • ‘But even the most conscientious caseworkers are going to cut corners and make mistakes - often fatal mistakes - when they are overworked.’
    • ‘The judges are overworked, they're underpaid.’
    • ‘The coaching staff is overworked and forced to do much of the personnel work.’
    • ‘I attributed this to a large ward round, insufficient time, and overworked doctors.’
    • ‘So no more vitamin B6, no Evening Primrose Oil, without a prescription from your already overworked GP.’
    • ‘The patent examiners are so overworked that they let a lot of this stuff through.’
    • ‘Fifty-eight percent said they were so overworked they could not provide the right level of care.’
    • ‘Mr Peach admitted departmental officers were often overworked and inexperienced, and worked in isolation.’
    • ‘Pediatricians and child psychologists can fill some gaps, but they are also often overworked.’
    exploit, drive, drive too hard, drive into the ground, tax, overtax, sweat, overburden, put upon, impose on, oppress
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    1. 1.1no object Work too hard.
      ‘the doctor advised a complete rest because he had been overworking’
      • ‘I wish I'd read it 10 or 15 years ago, because I then wouldn't have had to learn the hard way what overworking for all the wrong reasons can do to you.’
      • ‘‘Overwrought’ by the same token must mean ‘overworked’, yet I guess that at least 94% of us sometimes get overwrought for reasons unconnected with overworking.’
      • ‘Jing is considered to be a very precious substance - the foundation of our constitutional energy - one that we need to protect and value by ensuring that we do not erode it through excesses, neither by overworking nor by partying!’
      work too hard, work like a horse, work like a slave, work like a Trojan, run oneself into the ground, work oneself into the ground, wear oneself to a shadow, work one's fingers to the bone, drive oneself into the ground, sweat, sweat blood, work day and night, burn the candle at both ends, burn the midnight oil, overtax oneself, overtax one's strength, kill oneself, burn oneself out, do too much, overdo it, strain oneself, overburden oneself, overload oneself, drive oneself too hard, push oneself too hard
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  • 2Make excessive use of.

    ‘we aren't building new refineries so we have overworked our old ones’
    • ‘she had been overworking her muscles during training’
    • ‘Kansas City's bullpen was overworked last season because its young starters either broke down physically or threw too many pitches to consistently work past the sixth inning.’
    • ‘The welfare system is overworked, underpaid and they get burned out.’
    • ‘These nations are making no effective effort to ensure that their athletes are clean, instead leaving the job of enforcement to an overstretched, overworked WADA.’
    • ‘It is a fight neither party can win decisively, and in the meantime everyone is made worse off when seats are left open indefinitely, courts are overworked, and justice is delayed or denied.’
    • ‘The heart, already overworked because of less oxygen, has to work even harder to pump blood through the narrowed blocked vessels.’
    1. 2.1Use (a word, phrase, or idea) so often that it loses its effect.
      ‘we all overworked the phrase ‘gets it’ during the last administration’
      • ‘This hideously overworked cliché alone is enough is enough to bar you from membership of the young-old club.’
      • ‘No, I understand there's no more overworked or overused word than ‘new.’’
      • ‘The word ‘passion’ is sadly overworked at most auto shows, but in Trevor's case it is right on the money.’
      • ‘It didn't take long for that pathetic - and overworked - excuse to unravel…’
      • ‘Metaphors or repetition become tiring and irritating when overworked, rather than amusing, moving or shocking.’


mass noun
  • Excessive work.

    ‘his health broke down under the strain of overwork’
    • ‘Men suffering from overwork, tiredness and stress are less likely ‘to share family meals, to read, play and help children with homework, and to be involved in recreational activities or to do the shopping’.’
    • ‘Independent research indicates that they live in extreme poverty and suffer stress and exhaustion from overwork and forced overtime.’
    • ‘All the muscles in her tiny body seemed to hurt; whether from overwork or fatigue she couldn't decipher.’
    • ‘I think a lot of doctors are vulnerable because of overwork and too much stress.’
    • ‘Practitioners use ginseng as a tonic, primarily to treat patients who are worn-out, either from overwork, emotional stress, or old age.’
    pressure, demands, burdens, exertions
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