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From Middle English overbord, overborde, equivalent to over- +‎ board.


  • IPA(key): /ˈəʊvə(ɹ)ˌbɔː(ɹ)d/
  • (file)


overboard (not comparable)

  1. (nautical) Outside of a boat; in the water.

Derived terms[edit]


overboard (not comparable)

  1. Over the edge; especially, off or outside of a boat.
    It was their practice to throw the scraps overboard.
    • 2017 July 23, Brandon Nowalk, “The great game begins with a bang on Game Of Thrones (newbies)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Theon Greyjoy is the most well developed character on that stage, and the action comes down to him. Euron, with Yara underneath his ax, goads Theon into attack. But Theon is overwhelmed by the violence all around him, and instead he jumps overboard.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter VIII, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      Afore we got to the shanty Colonel Applegate stuck his head out of the door. His temper had been getting raggeder all the time, and the sousing he got when he fell overboard had just about ripped what was left of it to ravellings.
  2. Excessively; too much.
    They really went overboard with the party preparations.

Derived terms[edit]



overboard (third-person singular simple present overboards, present participle overboarding, simple past and past participle overboarded)

  1. (transitive) To throw over the edge of a boat into the water.
    • 2020, Hilary Mantel, The Mirror and the Light, Fourth Estate, page 565:
      ‘Call home that runt Edmund Bonner. He has trotted after me from Spain into France and I swear the next time we take ship I will overboard him.’

Related terms[edit]