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Overreach   /ˈoʊvərrˌitʃ/   Listen
Overreach

verb
(past & past part. overreached, obs. overraught; pres. part. overreaching)
1.
Fail by aiming too high or trying too hard.
2.
Beat through cleverness and wit.  Synonyms: beat, circumvent, outfox, outsmart, outwit.  "She outfoxed her competitors"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Overreach" Quotes from Famous Books



... Benjamin's mind began to see that the affair would place his landlord and mortgagee in his power, and relieve him for evermore from financial pressure. To his peculiar conscience it was justifiable to overreach his grasping creditor, a right and proper thing to upset the shrewd Varnhagen's plans: a thought of the proposed breach of the law, statutory and moral, did not ...
— The Tale of Timber Town • Alfred Grace

... the other. Men hate to be cheated. An attempt to deceive us, is an insult to our understandings and an affront to our morals. The pretender to politeness is a cheat. He tries to palm off the base for the genuine; and, although he may deceive the vulgar, he cannot overreach the cultivated. True politeness springs from right feelings; it is a good heart, manifesting itself in an agreeable life; it is a just regard for the rights and happiness of others in small things; it is the expression of true and generous sentiments in a graceful form of words; it ...
— The Ladies' Vase - Polite Manual for Young Ladies • An American Lady

... mouths, legs, if not arms, and feet, so there was much in which we were both of a mind, but surely they must be mistaken in arming themselves so very heavily. Any creature on getting what the turtle aimed at would overreach itself and be landed not in safety but annihilation. It should have no communion with the outside world at all, for death could creep in wherever the creature could creep out; and it must creep out somewhere if it was to hook on to outside things. What death can be more absolute than ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... no object in following through all its sittings and all its twistings this odious and shameful trial, in which the judges' prejudiced servility and scientific subtlety were employed for three months to wear out the courage or overreach the understanding of a young girl of nineteen, who refused at one time to lie, and at another to enter into discussion with them, and made no defence beyond holding her tongue or appealing to God who had spoken to her and dictated to her that which ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume III. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... wading. Powhatan at their request sent them venison, turkeys, and bread; the next day he feasted them, and then inquired when they were going, ignoring his invitation to them to come. Hereupon followed a long game of fence between Powhatan and Captain Smith, each trying to overreach the other, and each indulging profusely in lies and pledges. Each professed the utmost love for ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... By'r Lady, so had not I. I was fain to overreach, as many times I do; but now experience hath taught me so much craft that ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... their bargains for buying and selling of Goods and Merchandizes; from whence they seldom come before they have spent a large reckoning, and lost more then three of their five sences; thinking themselves no less rich then they are wise; and ly then very subtlely upon the catch to overreach another in a good and advantagious bargain; by which means they themselves are somtimes catcht by the nose with a mouldly old sort of unknown commodity, that they may walk home with, by weeping cross; ...
— The Ten Pleasures of Marriage and The Confession of the New-married Couple (1682) • A. Marsh

... confident one of his mate—"Have a try at it, anyhow!" Then her joy when the sail filled and the plashing of her way spoke Hope beneath her bulwark as she caught the wind. Then her dread that the Devil's craft ahead would make sail too, and overreach them after all, and the blessing in her heart for her hopeful oarsman, whose view was that the officer in charge would not spare his convicts any work he could inflict. "He'll see to it they arn their breaffastis, ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... soldier, who has been lately employed to keep guard over infected houses," replied Gregory. "We must take care his lordship does not overreach us." ...
— Old Saint Paul's - A Tale of the Plague and the Fire • William Harrison Ainsworth

... I do not believe that the horticulturist can sell his small fruits anywhere in the ordinary markets of the world at so high a price as to the Robin, provided that he uses proper diligence that the little huckster doesn't overreach ...
— A Book of Natural History - Young Folks' Library Volume XIV. • Various

... of course, is writing in the light of later knowledge, and even, setting that aside, I am very far from agreeing with his psychological deduction. Just as a shy man will so overreach himself in his efforts to dissemble his shyness as to assume an air of positive arrogance, so might a pure lady who had succumbed as Miss Armytage pretended, upon finding herself forced to such self-accusation, bear herself with ...
— The Snare • Rafael Sabatini

... compatriots. Greeks, too—small, lithe, dark men, with keen faces and dark eyes, differing wonderfully from the calm, dignified, handsome Turks, but handsome in their way if it had not been for a peculiarly sharp, shifty expression that suggested craftiness and a desire to overreach, if not cheat. ...
— Yussuf the Guide - The Mountain Bandits; Strange Adventure in Asia Minor • George Manville Fenn

... by the King how he 'calls the play, answers:—'The Mouse-trap.' Mosca calls his own cunningness with which he thinks he can overreach his master, ...
— Shakspere And Montaigne • Jacob Feis

... rooted in good order and legality. (6) It was a design worth the venture: if they succeeded they would become the saviours of their country; if not—why, in the effort to grasp the fairest flower of happiness, they would but overreach, and find instead a ...
— Hellenica • Xenophon

... natures, and the wider variety of faculties and passions included in the strict unity of their natures. Richard III., for example, is one of his earlier characters, and though excellent of its kind, its excellence has been approached by other dramatists, as, for instance, Massinger, in "Sir Giles Overreach." But no other dramatist has been able to grasp and represent a character similar in kind to Macbeth, and the reason is that Richard is comparatively a simple conception, while Macbeth is a complex one. There is unity and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 118, August, 1867 • Various

... other in this, that if you were in my place you would take the horse without giving an equivalent. Now I am a man of mercy, and if you will ask a fair price you shall have it. But mark me! Do not overreach yourself and kill the goose that is about ...
— The Redemption of David Corson • Charles Frederic Goss

... troublous times about the middle of the fourteenth century, when every petty prince in Europe was trying to overreach his immediate neighbor and grasp his lands, and when ties of blood seemed only to intensify feuds, there arose two claimants for the principality of Brittany. The Count of Montfort, half-brother of the last duke, and Charles of Blois, were the rivals; and each prosecuted his ...
— Woman: Man's Equal • Thomas Webster

... he, 'the King's daughter shall not overreach us;' and, loading his gun, he shot so cleverly, that he shot away the horse's skull from under the runner's head, without its hurting him. Then the runner awoke, jumped up, and saw that his pitcher was empty and the King's daughter ...
— The Yellow Fairy Book • Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang

... card-playing — If you pick up a diverting original by accident, it may be dangerous to amuse yourself with his oddities — He is generally a tartar at bottom; a sharper, a spy, or a lunatic. Every person you deal with endeavours to overreach you in the way of business; you are preyed upon by idle mendicants, who beg in the phrase of borrowing, and live upon the spoils of the stranger — Your tradesmen are without conscience, your friends without affection, and your dependents ...
— The Expedition of Humphry Clinker • Tobias Smollett

... my right hand to ride, only it wouldn't carry him. I can't make horses. Harry brought home that brown mare on Tuesday with an overreach that she won't get over this season. What the deuce they do with their horses to knock them about so, I can't understand. I've killed horses in my time, and ridden them to a stand-still, but I never bruised them and battered them about as ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... Convennole to a whetstone, which is blunt itself, but which sharpens others. His old master, however was sharp enough to overreach him in the matter of borrowing and lending. When the poet had collected a considerable library, Convennole paid him a visit, and, pretending to be engaged in something that required him to consult Cicero, borrowed ...
— The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch • Petrarch

... uncommon occurrence for a rascal to overreach himself. It is the thing Arthur Hoyt did when he refrained from shooting Harry and resorted to the more cruel but longer device of starving ...
— Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891 • Various

... face to face with the lamb, it will eat up the lamb first and justify its conduct afterwards. And in this argument there is a certain amount of truth; but those who take it for the whole truth allow their own cynicism to overreach them. The fact remains that even the wolves of the human world are obliged to assume, as a kind of necessary armour, and often as their principal weapon, a semblance of justice, however they may despise the reality. The brigand chief justifies his war on society by declaring ...
— A Critical Examination of Socialism • William Hurrell Mallock

... surpassing shrewdness and cunning, attempt to take him with a trap. Rogue that he is, he always suspects some trick, and one must be more of a fox than he is himself to overreach him. At first sight it would appear easy enough. With apparent indifference he crosses your path, or walks in your footsteps in the field, or travels along the beaten highway, or lingers in the vicinity ...
— Squirrels and Other Fur-Bearers • John Burroughs

... case), on the general ground of wishing to keep quiet. If Miss Bordereau suspected me of ulterior aims she would suspect me less if I should be businesslike, and yet I consented not to be so. It was possible she intended her omission as an impertinence, a visible irony, to show how she could overreach people who attempted to overreach her. On that hypothesis it was well to let her see that one did not notice her little tricks. The real reading of the matter, I afterward perceived, was simply the poor old woman's desire ...
— The Aspern Papers • Henry James

... know what you are talking about?" Doctor Prescott said, sharply; for this plain proposition that he overreach the other aroused him to ...
— Jerome, A Poor Man - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... king Agamemnon addressed: "Do not thus, excellent though thou be, godlike Achilles, practise deceit in thy mind; since thou shalt not overreach, nor yet persuade me. Dost thou wish that thou thyself mayest have a prize, whilst I sit down idly,[22] wanting one? And dost thou bid me to restore her? If, however, the magnanimous Greeks will give me a prize, having suited it to my mind, so that it shall be an equivalent, [it ...
— The Iliad of Homer (1873) • Homer

... your present quarters, as you call 'em, and think you'll always have 'em. You won't. Mark my words; you won't. Some time you'll overreach yourself, and cheat yourself out of 'em. See if ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... so much by hard study as by skilful veneering, and had taken great pains to stand well with the Faculty, at least one of whom, Byles Gridley, A. M., had watched him with no little interest as a man with a promising future, provided he were not so astute as to outwit and overreach himself in his excess of contrivance. His classmates could not help liking him; as to loving him, none of them would have thought of that. He was so shrewd, so keen, so full of practical sense, and so good-humored as long as things went on to his liking, that few could ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... sometimes work out unexpectedly. If we have a mischief maker here, we may eventually discover her. Girls of this type often overreach themselves and thus establish their guilt. I shall not forget this affair." The matron's voice grew stern. "If ever I do discover the writer, she will not be allowed to ...
— Jane Allen: Right Guard • Edith Bancroft



Words linked to "Overreach" :   outperform, go wrong, surpass, outdo, fail, beat out, miscarry, vanquish, outgo, trounce, exceed, surmount, outstrip, outmatch, shell, crush



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