Definition of overboard in US English:



  • From a ship into the water.

    ‘the severe storm washed a man overboard’
    • ‘I fell overboard and emerged from the water some 300 yards further down the weir.’
    • ‘Three of these massive steel containers were lost overboard in the water of Man last November and only one has been recovered.’
    • ‘Most of the 25 crew jumped overboard when the blast happened, and only one was injured.’
    • ‘Peering overboard, I see twisting whirlpools and black, churning water.’
    • ‘Some think he fell overboard, but others are now saying they saw him leave the boat when it docked.’
    • ‘Waves broke constantly over the deck, washing whole groups of terrified passengers overboard.’
    • ‘She tossed the small plastic cards overboard and watched them sail into the water.’
    • ‘The yacht was suddenly engulfed by a huge wave while Mr Cammish was preparing the tow and he was washed overboard.’
    • ‘He plays a vital role travelling ahead of us to check our intended route is safely passable and helping anyone who falls overboard.’
    • ‘The boat's French skipper was still missing last night and is believed to have been washed overboard on Friday.’
    • ‘But in the end the ship got stuck on the river bank and started spilling its cargo of timber overboard.’
    • ‘Aft of the galley is a head with an integral shower with sump to discharge shower water overboard.’
    • ‘He is presumed to have fallen overboard and drowned, but his body has not been found.’
    • ‘The crew of a sailing ship have escaped prosecution after a man fell overboard from their vessel and died.’
    • ‘Soon however, the whales realised the sailors had jumped overboard and were swimming to the safety of shore.’
    • ‘Then the trap is shut and Mark waits as Gerry repositions the boat and gives him the signal to drop it overboard.’
    • ‘The kids all wore life-jackets and we soon stopped worrying about them tumbling overboard.’
    • ‘He was seen tossing deckchairs into the water to give people who had already jumped overboard something to cling to.’
    • ‘He was eventually washed overboard and made it first to a raft, then to a collapsible boat before rescue.’
    • ‘If she falls overboard, she has a transmitter fitted to her belt that can send a signal to release a liferaft from B&Q.’


  • go overboard

    • 1Be very enthusiastic.

      ‘Gary went overboard for you’
      • ‘Enthusiasm for a presidential contender often causes people to go overboard with their praise and lose touch with reality.’
      • ‘But if we do go overboard at the office party, experts say we should try to spare our blushes.’
      • ‘It was a family practice review course, designed to give an overview of the latest developments in medicine and clinical treatment, yet some of the speakers went overboard in their enthusiasm for the latest treatment trends.’
      • ‘Mind you, we didn't go overboard as it wasn't the best time to celebrate in the middle of a World Cup.’
      • ‘Even so, I hope the blogosphere doesn't embarrass itself by going overboard in celebrating its victory over the notorious MSM.’
      live extravagantly, live in the lap of luxury, live in clover
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    • 2React in an immoderate way.

      ‘Chris has a bit of a temper and can sometimes go overboard’
      • ‘But there is another reason why some people had the impression that the press has gone overboard.’
      • ‘So you think the press has gone overboard on this story?’
      • ‘That's why you should plan ahead so you can enjoy your food without going overboard, especially if you go on an all-inclusive vacation where you have all-you-can-eat buffets tempting you.’
      • ‘It does annoy me the way we go completely overboard regarding any young British tennis hopeful who manages to win a couple of matches.’
      • ‘As if it wasn't already apparent that I've gone overboard, my contribution for today to 100 Words has a decidedly familiar theme.’
      • ‘What I think has happened is that Mark has gone overboard.’
      • ‘By following these guidelines, rather than avoiding certain foods, I'll be less inclined to binge on empty calories or go overboard at mealtime.’
      • ‘When I have a craving, I can enjoy one bag of chips or cookies without worrying about going overboard.’
      • ‘Suggesting that you might paste it into a scrapbook would have been going a little overboard, but you get the gist.’
      • ‘When the food started arriving I began to realise I had gone overboard, because the portions were enormous.’
      drink too much, eat too much, overeat, drink like a fish, overdrink, be greedy, be immoderate, be intemperate, overindulge oneself, overdo it, not know when to stop, drink to excess, eat to excess, go to excess, gorge, gorge oneself, surfeit, guzzle, feast
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  • throw something overboard

    • Abandon or discard something.

      ‘the report does not throw the idea overboard completely’
      • ‘So why have religious people been cowed into throwing their opinions overboard so easily?’
      • ‘The administration decided to throw balanced budgets overboard.’
      • ‘Yet it is precisely because it is such an anchor that we need to throw it overboard and set ourselves free.’
      • ‘You first have to be aware of what you are carrying before you can make the decision to throw it overboard.’
      • ‘Yesterday, with his critics closing in on him, the Tory leader threw that good work overboard.’
      dump, drop, ditch, discharge, eject, throw out, empty out, pour out, tip out, unload, throw overboard, throw over the side
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