(third-person singular simple present overstands, present participle overstanding, simple past and past participle overstood)
- (rare) to stand or insist too much or too long; overstay
- to stand too strictly on the demands or conditions of.
- (yachting, boat racing): to sail to the mark at a wider angle than is the normal upwind angle, to go beyond the layline
- (Rastafarianism, US black subculture): to have complete or intutitive comprehension, to grok
- (forestry, of a coppice): To be neglected and left uncut for too long.
From Middle English overstonden, from Old English oferstandan (“to stand over”), equivalent to over- + stand. Cognate with Dutch overstaan (“to stand over”), German überstehen (“to stand through, survive”).
The slang meaning was coined in Rastafarianism, as an inversion of understand (before 1965).