Definition of overstress in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Subject to too much physical or mental stress.

    ‘they are prone to nervous breakdowns if overstressed’
    • ‘We don't talk much about overstressing the aircraft, but there's a great deal of that going on.’
    • ‘‘This prevents overstressing the targeted muscle group while better depleting muscle glycogen levels,’ notes Stoppani.’
    • ‘Detailed calculations made during the inquiry indicate that some struts would have been overstressed.’
    • ‘In other words, if a straight section of pipe has been plastically bent one has to overstress the pipe in the opposite direction in order to straighten it.’
    • ‘My instructor relayed to the senior instructor that we would be returning to the airfield, because we had overstressed the plane.’
    • ‘Going too heavy can lead to overstressing your elbows.’
    • ‘As is the case with other engines or vehicles, new hydraulic systems require a break-in period; overstressing the system during this time could cause damage.’
    • ‘But if you're overstressed, drink too much coffee or alcohol or eat too many sweets, your adrenals may not be doing an adequate job.’
    • ‘Even at these temperatures, failures might be initiated by overstressing the tires.’
    • ‘Operating from primitive strips, bombs on outboard pylons were apparently overstressing the wing because of flexing while operating on the uneven terrain.’
    • ‘However, because the triceps are a relatively small bodypart and because you wind up working them pretty hard when training chest, you don't have to do too much for them and you don't have to worry about overstressing your elbows.’
    • ‘The mounting pins were secure and didn't seem to have been overstressed; the seal for the driveshaft had leaked a bit of water, but nothing to be concerned about.’
    • ‘It is not uncommon for these arms to be overstressed and damaged, to the point where they need major structural repair.’
    • ‘This is purely random and is designed only to prevent me from overstressing a tendon.’
    • ‘For example, a client may ask their GP, their social worker, their mental health worker, each to write letters of support for government housing, thereby overstressing the already strained government housing service.’
    • ‘Boeing's philosophy is that the pilot should have total control of the aircraft, even if that means overstressing it.’
    • ‘Fighting to maintain a precise IFR height is more likely to result in overstressing the airplane.’
    • ‘Environmental factors seem to be overnutrition and physically overstressing the joints with early training and playing.’
    • ‘And if there are not enough of them, or if they're overstressed, or their shifts are too long, then I think that's in some ways a greater risk to patient safety than anything the doctors can do.’
    • ‘The weight of the water accumulated at the drain, where it overstressed the deck and the structure, and the building came down at a cost of about $2 million.’
    1. 1.1 Lay too much emphasis on.
      ‘the value of good legal assistance cannot be overstressed’
      • ‘The show looks good, and he makes a powerful and sympathetic Lear - though the decision to play him as a twitching stroke sufferer is distracting and overstresses his infirmity.’
      • ‘During this period of international tension and corporate reorganisation, the importance and value of recording current activity cannot be overstressed.’
      • ‘With all these new issues on the horizon, the importance of this cannot be overstressed.’
      • ‘That strand then becomes environmental in orientation, as it interprets modernity as overstressing the tendency to commodify nature and to degrade the earth as a source of life.’
      • ‘Water is the essence of life, and its importance to bodybuilders can't be overstressed.’
      • ‘As the eponymous heroine, she sings well but tries too hard to be cute and clever, and loses a lot of the humour in her part by overstressing her lines rather than throwing them away.’
      • ‘The importance of bones cannot be overstressed.’
      • ‘On the one hand, it is hostile: by overstressing the physical, by throwing man back upon his body, it has a dehumanizing effect.’
      • ‘Many are beginners and the basics of safety can never be overstressed.’
      • ‘The danger that lurks within these museum pieces cannot be overstressed, with the possibility of fire, electrocution or both.’
      • ‘In virtually every chapter, readers are cautioned that they must avoid contamination; because this is a constant concern in a molecular laboratory, it cannot be overstressed.’
      • ‘This latter statement of mine is, perhaps, overstressing the point, but I think many teachers of creative writing have found a certain resistance among students to attempt poetry outside the old ‘mainstream’ formal structures.’
      • ‘One cannot overstress the importance of the company you keep.’
      • ‘Which, I suggest, is a point that cannot be overstressed, especially today.’
      • ‘I wouldn't want to overstress this, but, in a way, it's bound up with the increased unionisation of the BBC.’
      • ‘For Fauré, art and music existed ‘to elevate mankind as far as possible above everyday existence’, but in his oeuvre the Hellenic aspect of calm, philosophical serenity has been overstressed.’
      • ‘It is impossible to overstress the importance of the weather in waging war, from launching a tactical attack to deciding when to start hostilities.’
      • ‘The importance of unit testing human-created as well as machine-generated source code can't be overstressed.’
      • ‘The importance of power, strength, endurance, and other factors cannot be overstressed.’
      • ‘I have heard a temptation to overstress symbolism, or an over-eagerness for closure touted as potential sticking points, and there are moments in this posthumous collection where one feels these may not be wholly invalid criticisms.’
      overstate, overemphasize, overestimate, overvalue, magnify, amplify, aggrandize, inflate
      View synonyms


  • Excessive stress.

    • ‘It said the tyre failed because of overstress probably caused by under-inflation, itself probably caused by a leaking overpressure valve.’
    • ‘Consequently, before repairing an active crack, it is important to determine and alleviate the cause of the overstress.’
    • ‘Shorted magnetoresistive head leads for electrical overstress and electrostatic discharge protection during manufacture of a magnetic storage system’
    • ‘The lengths of lead in the parapet gutters were too long by modern standards, and in consequence thermal movement was liable to cause overstress in the lead.’
    • ‘Free time not just through the ancient practice of the Sabbath but also through new ways, appropriate to an industrial/informational economy, of pausing from overwork and overstress.’