Definition of overkill in English:



mass noun
  • 1Excessive use, treatment, or action.

    ‘animators now face a dilemma of technology overkill’
    • ‘Sitting through the whole thing might feel like overkill.’
    • ‘Lastly, this keeping of the suspense for a whole week is a bit of overkill.’
    • ‘However, I agree that this is probably overkill in this case.’
    • ‘The screen is a bit of overkill because the audience is not that far from the center of action on the hot shop floor.’
    • ‘Isn't adding a second bomb a bit of cinematic overkill?’
    • ‘Yet now that the government seems to be throwing its weight behind the issue, some critics call it overkill.’
    • ‘In some cases, this approach is necessary, but many times it's overkill.’
    • ‘They must have determined that to be overkill, because they stopped attaching the probes to their body armor at some point during the mission.’
    • ‘For the home user it might be a little too expensive, and even a bit of overkill.’
    • ‘If wiring the wine cellar for an Internet connection seems like overkill, consider the possibilities for the pampered homeowner.’
    • ‘For a band that had one single in them, getting the full reissue treatment seems a bit like overkill.’
    • ‘More than eight ounces is getting too close to overkill.’
    • ‘If your company's goal is to use learning as a core retention strategy, that seems like overkill.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, one can't help but think the hordes of Canadian Mounted Police and other law enforcement personnel amounts to overkill.’
    • ‘But that response turned out to be overkill when the usual large dose of morphine did not follow the initial small injection.’
    • ‘While it may seem like overkill, the military was finally satisfied.’
    • ‘A surround mix would have been nice, but probably overkill.’
    • ‘It may be overkill, but don't tell that to the book world.’
    • ‘I understand the need to meet labelling requirements, but I suggest that maybe this is a little bit of overkill.’
    • ‘It sounds a bit like overkill, but one on each arm, matched with front and rear lights covers all the angles.’
    excess, overabundance, superabundance, profusion, glut, surfeit, surplus, superfluity, more than enough, too many, too much
    View synonyms
  • 2The amount by which destruction or the capacity for destruction exceeds what is necessary.

    ‘the existing nuclear overkill’
    • ‘The main consideration was to avoid weapon overkill.’
    • ‘Despite his sense of legality, he could resort to dramatic displays of armed might and air power to quell internal opposition with literal overkill.’