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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.
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.
throw (something) overboard
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 thrown overboard at the end of the fiscal year. I know it's a really bad habit, but we just throw our rubbish overboard when travelling on a long car journey.
To fall over the side of a ship or boat and into the water. Hey, be careful standing by the railing like that—if we hit rough waters, you're liable to fall overboard!
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.
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.
throw something overboardabandon or discard something.
The idea here is that something thrown over the side of a ship is lost forever.
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.
throw something ˈoverboardreject or get rid of something: All ideas of reform were thrown overboard when the new government came to power.
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