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To dispose or get rid of something or someone. Likened to throwing something over the side of a ship. In a major corporate shake-up, most of the company's upper-level management was chucked overboard at the end of the fiscal year. I know it's a really bad habit, but we just chuck our rubbish overboard when travelling on a long car journey.
to fall from a boat or a ship into the water. (See also go overboard) Someone fell overboard and they had to stop the boat and go back. The lady's sunglasses fell overboard.
1. Fig. to fall out of a boat or off of a ship; to fall overboard. Be careful or you will go overboard. Someone went overboard in the fog.
2. Fig. to do too much; to be extravagant. Look, Sally, let's have a nice party, but don't go overboard. It doesn't need to be fancy. Okay, you can buy a big comfortable car, but don't go overboard on price.
[for someone or something] to be carried overboard (off the deck of a ship) by water. Our chairs washed overboard in the storm. I was afraid that the dog would wash overboard, so I took her below.
wash someone or something overboard
[for water] to flood up and carry someone or something off the deck of a ship into the sea. The high seas washed two of the sailors overboard. The storm washed our chairs overboard.
to do or say too much because you are so enthusiastic I think I went overboard in decorating my house for Christmas. It's OK to discuss business during dinner, but don't go overboard and hand out documents for your guests to read while they're eating.Related vocabulary: overdo it
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of go overboard (to fall over a ship's side)
to do something too much, or to be too excited and eager about something (often + on ) The car's makers seem to have gone overboard on design and sacrificed speed. He went completely overboard on her birthday and bought her a diamond ring.
Show excessive enthusiasm, act in an excessive way. For example, It's easy to go overboard with a new stock offering, or She really went overboard, hiring the most expensive caterer. [Mid-1900s]
in. to do far more than is necessary. Now don’t go overboard for us. We’re just folks.
To go to extremes, especially as a result of enthusiasm.