go overboard, to
1. Literally, to fall off of a boat. Be careful standing so close to the edge—we don't want anyone to go overboard!
2. To act without restraint in some area. Did I go overboard with the Christmas decorations? I'm worried I bought enough Christmas lights to light up Times Square.
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.
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]
go overboard1 be highly enthusiastic. 2 behave immoderately; go too far.
The idea behind this idiom is that of recklessly jumping over the side of a ship into the water.
go ˈoverboard (about/for somebody/something)(informal) be too excited or enthusiastic about something or about doing something: I told her just to cook a simple meal but she went completely overboard. ♢ He doesn’t just like her. He’s gone completely overboard about her.
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.
go overboard, to
To go to extremes; to overreact, especially in favor of something or someone. This expression, which conjures up the extreme act of jumping or falling off a ship, dates from the first half of the twentieth century. For a time it signified living beyond one’s means, but that meaning is no longer current. John P. Marquand used the term in its contemporary sense (Melville Goodwin, 1951): “Did you ever hear about General Goodwin going overboard over an American girl in Paris?”
See also: go