- the capacity of a nation's nuclear weapon stockpile to kill many times the total population of any given nation
- much more of something than is necessary, appropriate, etc.; esp., an excess of effort in attempting to achieve some end
- The destructive use of military force beyond the amount needed to destroy an enemy.
- The excessive use of force in killing an individual or organism.
- Elimination or drastic reduction of an animal population by hunting or killing.
- An excess of what is necessary or appropriate for a particular end: “government overkill in dealing with dissent” (Jesse Unruh).
verbo·ver·killed, o·ver·kill·ing, o·ver·kills
- To destroy (an enemy or enemy target) with more force than necessary.
- To use excessive force in killing (an individual, for example).
- To kill too many of (a population of animals) for the population to maintain itself in substantial numbers.
- To apply an excess of what is necessary or appropriate for (a particular end): overkill an advertising campaign.
To engage in overkill.
- (literally) A destructive capacity that exceeds that needed to destroy an enemy; especially with nuclear weapons.
- (idiomatic) An unnecessary excess of whatever is needed to achieve a goal.
- 24 hours of TV coverage of the US election verged on overkill.
- Should I give you yet more homework, or would that be overkill?
(third-person singular simple present overkills, present participle overkilling, simple past and past participle overkilled)
- To destroy something with more (nuclear) force than is required.
From over- +â€Ž kill.