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From over- +‎ write.


overwrite (third-person singular simple present overwrites, present participle overwriting, simple past overwrote, past participle overwritten)

  1. (transitive, computing) To destroy (older data) by recording new data over it.
    I accidentally saved my unwanted changes and overwrote the version of the document I wanted to keep.
  2. (transitive) To cover in writing.
  3. (intransitive or transitive) To write in an unnecessarily complicated or florid way; to produce purple prose.
    • 1954, Edwin H. Ford, Edwin Emery, Highlights in the History of the American Press: A Book of Readings, U of Minnesota Press ISBN 9780816657698, page 367
      The Times of course has to pay the price of encyclopaedism by being often dreadfully overwritten, with long paragraphs connected by motley conjunctions.
    • 1986, David Novarr, The Lines of Life: Theories of Biography, 1880-1970, Purdue University Press ISBN 9781557531285, page 162
      He overwrites constantly, but his detailed and understated one-paragraph description of Monroe's apartment in New York (pp. 216- 18) injects high voltage into the de casibus tradition.
    • 1989, Michael O'Neill, The human mind's imaginings: conflict and achievement in Shelley's poetry, Oxford University Press, USA
      That said, the passage just looked at anticipates rather than participates in greatness. It is too adjectival, a stylistic flaw which suggests an insistence more apparent in the ensuing lines (182-91), where one is torn between thinking that Shelley is overwriting and that he is staying close to a feverish intensity.



overwrite (plural overwrites)

  1. (computing) The operation of destroying older data by recording new data over it.
    • 2014, Bruce Middleton, Conducting Network Penetration and Espionage in a Global Environment
      Tab to the number specifying the number of overwrites and enter a number between 1 and 9.