Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- Rhymes: -aʊnd
- simple past tense and past participle of
- (figuratively, uncommon) Nervous, tense, jumpy.
1949, Irwin Shaw, The Young Lions:
- Everyone else Christian had had anything to do with, ever since the bad night outside Alexandria, had seemed to be overwound, jumpy, bitter, hysterical, overtired...
1957, Richard Hoggart, The Uses Of Literacy:
- He has left his class, at least in spirit, by being in certain ways unusual; and he is still unusual in another class, too tense and overwound.
2004 October 6, Sidney Blumenthal, “The master of Washington vs. the fox”, in Salon.com:
- He [Cheney] could only exist with a chief executive self-absorbed in his resentments, narrow in experience and intellectual scope, and who does not hold his vice president accountable; an incompetent national security advisor, overwound in her eagerness to please; and a secretary of state who never presses his advantages but accepts his internal defeats, playing the good soldier.