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- (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.
- (transitive) To cover in writing; to write over the top of.
- (transitive, intransitive) To write too much.
- 2013, Richard Rudin, Trevor Ibbotson, Introduction to Journalism:
- Many trainees consider that by increasing the length of the piece they will construct a good feature. This is often not the case and overwriting can lead to vague and muddled features that confuse the reader and ultimately lose their interest.
- (transitive, intransitive) 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, 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, 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.
destroy old data
overwrite (plural overwrites)