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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



... sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes. And touching our Societie be it known to you that we have made a league—all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practices of England—cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, ...
— Ten Reasons Proposed to His Adversaries for Disputation in the Name • Edmund Campion

... front feet are behind the large marks made by the hind feet, because the rabbit overreaches each time; the hind feet track ahead of the front feet; the faster he goes, the farther ahead those hind feet get; and what would happen if he multiplied his speed by ten I really cannot imagine. This overreach of the hind feet takes ...
— Boy Scouts Handbook - The First Edition, 1911 • Boy Scouts of America

... attentions for a twelvemonth or more, you have no right to dismiss him with no further explanation than demurely telling him that you had always looked coldly upon him; and neither your wealth nor your LADYSHIP' (there was an emphasis of scorn on the word, which would have become Sir Giles Overreach himself) 'can warrant you in treating with contempt the affectionate regard of ...
— The Purcell Papers - Volume II. (of III.) • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... particularly of a pint silver caudle-cup, the gift of her grandmother. However, in this the young lady herself afterwards took care to prevent him. As to the old Mr. Wild, he did not sufficiently attend to all the designs of Snap, as his faculties were busily employed in designs of his own, to overreach (or, as others express it, to cheat) the said Mr. Snap, by pretending to give his son a whole number for a chair, when in reality he was intitled to a ...
— The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great • Henry Fielding

... so the reaping, Shame on us who overreach, While our eyes yet smart with weeping, Hearts so all our own to teach, Better they and we lay sleeping where the darkness hath ...
— What I Remember, Volume 2 • Thomas Adolphus Trollope

... model of what a great and fortunate statesman should be, so long as mankind have evil passions as well as lofty virtues, and the state that he seeks to serve is surrounded by powerful and restless foes, whom it is necessary to overreach where it is ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... 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 ...
— The Yellow Fairy Book • Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang

... another, we found that there was no hurry. The good work would wait to be well done; and one of the earliest effects of the Evolution was the disuse of the swift trains which had traversed the continent, night and day, that one man might overreach another, or make haste to undersell his rival, or seize some advantage of him, or plot some profit to his loss. Nine-tenths of the railroads, which in the old times had ruinously competed, and then, in the hands of the Accumulation, ...
— A Traveler from Altruria: Romance • W. D. Howells

... Indeed he looked like a Jew, though a good Christian enough, and laughed about it, because he said that this appearance of his served him well in his trade, since Jews were always feared, and it was held to be impossible to overreach them. ...
— The Virgin of the Sun • H. R. Haggard

... &c." and "that the barrier for the States-General shall be such as England shall agree upon and approve." It was natural to think, that the fear which the Dutch would conceive of our obtaining advantageous terms for Britain, might put them upon trying underhand for themselves, and endeavouring to overreach us in the management of the peace, as they had hitherto done in that of the war: the ambassador was therefore cautioned to be very watchful in discovering any workings, which ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. X. • Jonathan Swift

... Whitecraft, the consequence was, that she allowed her father to take his own way, without either remonstrance or contradiction. She knew very well that on this occasion, as on every other where their wits and wishes came in opposition, Sir Robert was always able to outgeneral and overreach him; she therefore resolved to agitate herself as little as possible, and to allow matters to flow on tranquilly, until the crisis—the moment ...
— Willy Reilly - The Works of William Carleton, Volume One • William Carleton

... a commanding air bade Elisa follow on. She, rather tartly than otherwise, not out of malice, but of old habit, began to speak thus, "Many folk, knowing much, imagine that others know nothing, and so ofttimes, what while they think to overreach others, find, after the event, that they themselves have been outwitted of them; wherefore I hold his folly great who setteth himself without occasion to test the strength of another's wit. But, for that maybe all are not of my opinion, it pleaseth me, whilst following ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... 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 ...
— The Aspern Papers • Henry James

... up!"—the less 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, missis. He ain't going to unlock ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... 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 ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... neither know how to do for him nor speak of him. Men that have any dealings with him say it is better to deal with a Turk than with him, for fairer dealings they shall have at his hands. This Talkative, if it be possible, will go beyond them, defraud, beguile, and overreach them. Besides, he brings up his sons to follow in his steps; and if he finds in any of them a 'foolish timorousness' (for so he calls the first appearance of a tender conscience), he calls them fools and blockheads, ...
— Talkers - With Illustrations • John Bate

... landing by 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

... (for they kept half a dozen cows on the place, and Andy took the milk into town)—their customers, when they found out about the lantern, used to look oddly at Andy, and one or two of them had tried in consequence to overreach him in the bills. But no thimble-rigger had a keener eye for the cents than Fawcett. So their milk-speculation had prospered, until, this spring, they had added to their stock of cows. It was the only business in which Andy was partner; ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... Assurance, Old Heads and Young Hearts, and some other dramas. Dorothy and Mrs. Douglas were devotees of the theater. I enjoyed Richelieu and Macbeth, and I had seen Forrest as Sir Charles Overreach and Claude Melnotte; but for many of the plays I did not care. Douglas was indifferent to the theater. He was himself too much of a player on the stage of American affairs to be illusioned by any ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... had the benefit of the thing he'd been telling them about for years. He prided himself immensely on the possession of a business shrewdness which was an absolute defense against any desire on the part of the iniquitous to overreach him. He believed it to be a peculiarly Lancashire characteristic, and kept it ...
— T. Tembarom • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... and Doctor Johnson used collectively or individually the following expressions in describing the work of the author of "Hamlet": conceit, overreach, word-play, extravagance, overdone, absurdity, obscurity, puerility, bombast, ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 1 of 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Good Men and Great • Elbert Hubbard

... that, especially among the cunning Yankees, such "mines and treasures" stories should be credited; but it is a peculiar feature in the US that the inhabitants, so difficult to overreach in other matters, will greedily take the bait when "mines" or "hidden treasure" are spoken of. In Missouri and Wisconsin, immense beds of copper ore and lead have been discovered in every direction. Thousands of poor, ignorant farmers, emigrants ...
— Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet • Captain Marryat

... truth, as there is no pleasant living with those whose language we do not understand, and, as St. Augustine teaches, a man would more readily live with his dog than with a foreigner, less pleasant certainly is our converse with those who make use of frauds artificially covered, overreach their hearers by deceits, address them insidiously, observe the right moment, and catch at words to their purpose, by which truth is hidden under a covering; and so on the other hand nothing is sweeter than the society of those, who both love and speak the naked truth, ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman

... one, we despise 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 regards neatness ...
— The Ladies' Vase - Polite Manual for Young Ladies • An American Lady

... 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

... he mean to say that Bacon staid every patent of monopoly that came before him? Of all patents in our history, the most disgraceful was that which was granted to Sir Giles Mompesson, supposed to be the original of Massinger's Overreach, and to Sir Francis Michell, from whom justice Greedy is supposed to have been drawn, for the exclusive manufacturing of gold and silver lace. The effect of this monopoly was of course that the metal employed in the manufacture was adulterated, to the great loss of the public. ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... rued the day that first he meddled with Robin Hood, for all men laughed at him and many ballads were sung by folk throughout the country, of how the Sheriff went to shear and came home shorn to the very quick. For thus men sometimes overreach ...
— The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood • Howard Pyle

... creep through this same opening he will see the needle lying on Dame Chat's table. The consequences for the curate are severe. Master Bailey's assistance is next requisitioned, and him friend Diccon cannot overreach. The whole truth coming out, Diccon is required to kneel and apologize. In doing so he gives Hodge a slap which elicits from that worthy a yell of pain. But it is a wholesome pang, for it finds the needle no further away than in the seat of ...
— The Growth of English Drama • Arnold Wynne

... the defects of the system, which are many, and while they demand to the last grain's weight "the pound of flesh," they are utterly unwilling to yield the requirements which the law makes of them. Where you find an overseer endeavoring in every way to overreach the apprentices, taking away the privileges which they enjoyed during slavery, and exacting from them the utmost minute and mite of labor, there you will find abundant complaints both against the ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society



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



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