[oh-ver-pley] /ˌoʊ vərˈpleɪ/

verb (used with object)
to exaggerate or overemphasize (one’s role in a , an emotion, an effect, etc.):
The young actor overplayed Hamlet shamelessly. The director of the movie had overplayed the pathos.
to put too much stress on the value or importance of:
A charitable biographer had overplayed the man’s piety and benevolence.
Cards. to overestimate the strength of (the cards in one’s hand) with consequent loss.
Golf. to hit (the ball) past the putting green.
Archaic. .
verb (used without object)
to exaggerate one’s part, an effect, etc.; overact:
Without a firm director she invariably overplays.
(transitive) to exaggerate the importance of
another word for overact
overplay one’s hand, to overestimate the worth or strength of one’s position

“to emphasize (something) too much,” 1933, a metaphor from card games, in to overplay (one’s) hand, “to spoil one’s hand by bidding in excess of its value” (1926), from over- + play (v.). The word was used earlier in a theatrical sense. Related: Overplayed; overplaying.


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