Definition of overload in English:



  • 1 Load with too great a burden or cargo.

    ‘both boats were overloaded and low in the water’
    ‘overloaded vehicles’
    • ‘River transport is often the only way for people to travel between towns and ferry disasters are not that rare as boats are frequently overloaded and often lack even the most rudimentary safety equipment.’
    • ‘At all costs, the vehicle must never be overloaded.’
    • ‘That vehicle would be overloaded, and would only have one driver for however many people he is carrying.’
    • ‘She should have known that the vessel was grossly and dangerously overloaded.’
    • ‘To maximize profit, drivers often overload their vehicles, drive at high speed and stop without warning on awkward spots to pick up passengers, much to the annoyance of other motorists.’
    • ‘Exacerbating factors include alcohol use and vehicles that are overloaded and poorly maintained.’
    • ‘Newly prosperous residents have kept buying motorcycles and cars, adding, say officials, 900 vehicles a day to the already overloaded streets.’
    • ‘This arrangement tends to overload the boat to port with seated passengers and will require the skipper to adjust for the load by using the hydraulic trim tabs.’
    • ‘Try not to overload your vehicle with too much wine, however great the temptation.’
    • ‘The burden thus generated strained the available water resources and overloaded the wastewater treatment plant.’
    • ‘Ensure strict checks on the city outskirts to ensure that vehicles are not overloaded.’
    • ‘He was told the weight by another, but it was his responsibility to ensure the vehicle was not overloaded.’
    • ‘Your child may be emotionally overloaded by her angry feelings and a tantrum seems inevitable as a result.’
    • ‘Gateway is one of the few PC vendors that doesn't overload its systems with junk you may not need.’
    • ‘Police claim the boat capsized because it was grossly overloaded.’
    • ‘Caravan owners have been warned that a recent police survey of vehicles revealed many were dangerously overloaded and unfit for the road.’
    • ‘He has a duty to ensure the vessel is not overloaded.’
    • ‘The boat was grossly overloaded (almost certainly deliberately), even more so than the usual refugee vessel.’
    • ‘Although her arms were already overloaded with bags, she decided to take a chance.’
    • ‘We had received intelligence that it was very overloaded and in danger of sinking but believed it had returned to Indonesia.’
    overburden, put too much in, overcharge, encumber, burden, weigh down
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    1. 1.1Give excessive work, responsibility, or information to.
      ‘the staff are heavily overloaded with casework’
      • ‘Studies have shown that end users are already overloaded and are therefore not willing to participate in archival training sessions.’
      • ‘If your employer overloads you with work, you suffer an injury and come back to work and nothing has changed then you can sue your employer.’
      • ‘Some companies use me when their in-house guys are overloaded.’
      • ‘Moreoever, he simply didn't have the time for us to overload him with questions: he has a book to write.’
      • ‘She knew she could not push this nor could she overload her.’
      • ‘The coaches feel he is taxed too much with all that he has to learn as the starting strong safety, and they don't want to overload him.’
      • ‘Our users are more overloaded every day and only a connectionist approach of intelligent work practices will best serve them.’
      • ‘You may be stressed and completely overloaded with work today.’
      • ‘Similarly, if a colleague asks you to help out with a project and you're already overloaded, politely defer, offering your assistance at a later date.’
      • ‘It overloads good employees with work because the supposed weaker ones cannot be trusted to perform.’
      • ‘I recall no vices as long as you didn't mistreat her or overload her.’
      • ‘You have a habit of not letting people know you're overloaded until you reach crisis level.’
      • ‘Teachers are still overloaded with paperwork, and certainly deserve greater support.’
      • ‘He said a number of new subject courses involve project work and the bigger picture should be kept in mind to ensure students were not overloaded.’
      • ‘During the regular season, we don't want to overload the team.’
      • ‘Whether it is a case of being overloaded with course work or one of simple procrastination matters little.’
      • ‘Frequent training can result in monotonous workouts, running late all the time and forgetfulness - telltale signs you're overloaded.’
      • ‘Don't overload your team with them, but having one or two is a smart move.’
      • ‘Members of Congress are extremely busy individuals; even their top staff members are overloaded.’
      • ‘We are overloaded with new experiences already, and cannot assimilate any more.’
      strain, impose excessive strain on, overtax, stretch, overwork, overuse
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    2. 1.2Put too great a demand on (an electrical system)
      ‘the wiring had been overloaded’
      • ‘The catch is that the server is already overloaded.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the servers were completely overloaded, scanning the systems and attempting to find and delete the worm.’
      • ‘When the system is overloaded, many calls cannot be placed, but calls that do go through function normally.’
      • ‘Another concern is the large number of recreational vessels that could overload a tracking system or clog up electronic screens where hundreds of signals would show up.’
      • ‘Regrettably, I've still not got round to downloading it, mainly due to a slight worry that I might just overload the system.’
      • ‘At this time of year especially it is very easy to overload your electrical system.’
      • ‘Students overload the system during winter when they all put their heaters on.’
      • ‘Garda HQ said the system was temporarily overloaded due to a large volume of calls at the time.’
      • ‘Finally, make sure that you have not overloaded any circuit or extension cord.’
      • ‘He said although the family's display of Christmas lights appeared to use many extension cables and double plugs, it had not overloaded the system.’
      • ‘Residents in the neighbouring low-cost two-room houses said illegal connections caused them to suffer because they overloaded the system and caused power failures.’
      • ‘The cell phone system is overloaded so nobody has heard from her since 3pm.’
      • ‘These calls are overloading the system, which is quite simply breaking down.’
      • ‘If you overload an electrical system with too much energy and too much stimulation, the circuit breaker activates and shuts everything down.’
      • ‘A spokeswoman for Seawick blamed the power cut on Saturday's weather and said that because it was cold, a large number of appliances had been switched on at once and had overloaded the system.’
      • ‘The latter isn't hard: you don't overload the system with appliances, and make sure the solar panels are clean.’
      • ‘The city's existing electrical distribution infrastructure is currently overloaded and must be upgraded to service this larger load.’
      • ‘The downside of this approach is that a high volume of network traffic can overload a system, and as a result not all packets are analyzed.’
      • ‘Between the air conditioners, the fans, the humidifiers and all the usual appliances, it's not hard to overload your electrical system during the dog days of August.’
      • ‘Telephone and cellphone service died, and throughout the crisis the state's special emergency communications system was either overloaded or knocked out.’


  • [in singular] An excessive amount of something.

    ‘an overload of stress’
    • ‘A passenger overload and militant unionism has urban public transport stressed.’
    • ‘Here, instead, there is an information overload.’
    • ‘The information overload of the week has finally got to me.’
    • ‘However, we like to draw your readers' attention to continuing concerns at the suburban character and quality of life in the area becoming spoilt by an overload of piecemeal developer-led building.’
    • ‘The inclusion of the CD helps to break up what could have easily been an information overload for young ones.’
    • ‘I am suffering from major overload of a tremendous amount of food right now.’
    • ‘Between an overload of information and a striving for pure dedication in life, I find myself looking for the exit sign’
    • ‘Mr Capstick added that he believed the trouble came from a fuse which tripped as a result of an overload although he stressed that he and his staff intended to leave the matter to professionals.’
    • ‘The overload began to surge through the US grid, threatening generation plants all over the Northeast.’
    • ‘It would help me manage the information overload brought about with the six modules that I teach by tracking the hundreds of Word documents I use during an academic term.’
    • ‘Information overload leads to stress and, often, the creation of information filtering roles.’
    • ‘Price said the city gives more opportunities to participate in municipal issues than people tend to take advantage of, and attributes this to busy lifestyles and an information overload.’
    • ‘While e-mail brings an ever widening range of issues to the notice of an average user, it also causes an information overload.’
    • ‘This was sufficient to produce an overload of blood lipids, to damage the endothelial cells, to produce free radicals and to affect the dilation and contraction of blood vessels.’
    • ‘Information overload (data glut) means it takes longer to produce less.’
    • ‘There are large problems concerning email, including spam, viruses and a general overload of information, but I had no clue why this one person in Holland could not get through to me.’
    • ‘Care is required to avoid an overload of information.’
    • ‘The thing is that sometimes I suffer an emotional overload and it comes out of nowhere.’
    • ‘I wonder about the overload of information coupled with the emotional exhaustion of the event.’
    • ‘Stress caused by an overload of patients has forced an experienced Yorkshire dentist to decide to leave the country and practise abroad.’
    excess, overabundance, superabundance, profusion, glut, surfeit, surplus, superfluity, more than enough, too many, too much
    avalanche, deluge, flood, abundance, plethora, overkill, backlog
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