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Overreach   Listen
verb
Overreach  v. i.  
1.
To reach too far; as:
(a)
To strike the toe of the hind foot against the heel or shoe of the forefoot; said of horses.
(b)
(Naut.) To sail on one tack farther than is necessary.
2.
To cheat by cunning or deception.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Overreach" Quotes from Famous Books



... there was a knock at my door, and Sir Percival's solicitor, Mr. Merriman, was shown in. There are many varieties of sharp practitioners in this world, but I think the hardest of all to deal with are the men who overreach you under the disguise of inveterate good-humour. A fat, well fed, smiling, friendly man of business is of all parties to a bargain the most hopeless to deal with. Mr. Merriman was one ...
— The Woman in White • Wilkie Collins

... Hark ye, Isaac, do you dare to complain of tricking? Don Jerome, I give you my word, this cunning Portuguese has brought all this upon himself, by endeavouring to overreach you, by getting your daughter's fortune, without making any ...
— The Duenna • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... skilful veneering, and had taken great pains to stand well with the Faculty, at least one of whom, Byles Gridley, A. M., had watched him with no little interest as a man with a promising future, provided he were not so astute as to outwit and overreach himself in his excess of contrivance. His classmates could not help liking him; as to loving him, none of them would have thought of that. He was so shrewd, so keen, so full of practical sense, and so good-humored ...
— The Guardian Angel • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... coward, full of pompous speech, The ignorant may overreach; But is the laughing-stock of those Who know how far his valor goes. Once on a time it came to pass, The Lion hunted with the Ass, Whom hiding in the thickest shade He there proposed should lend him aid, By trumpeting so strange a bray, That all the beasts he should ...
— The Fables of Phdrus - Literally translated into English prose with notes • Phaedrus

... it, anyhow!" Then her joy when the sail filled and the plashing of her way spoke Hope beneath her bulwark as she caught the wind. Then her dread that the Devil's craft ahead would make sail too, and overreach them after all, and the blessing in her heart for her hopeful oarsman, whose view was that the officer in charge would not spare his convicts any work he could inflict. "He'll see to it they arn their breaffastis, ...
— When Ghost Meets Ghost • William Frend De Morgan

... reputed—her parsimony amounted to false economy; often it took on a pettifogging character in her dealings with the Dutch, with the Huguenots, and with the Scots, though in the last case at least it must be admitted that either party was equally ready to overreach the other if the chance offered. But for very many years a very close economy was absolutely essential if debts were to be paid. That economy was facilitated by the lavish expenditure of prominent men on public objects; due partly to a desire for display, partly—at least in the case ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... in this light before! I never thought of it until I was living there face to face with the old fool I was intending to overreach. I never was SURE of it until this morning, when he actually turned out one of his lodgers that I might have the very room I required to play off our little game in comfortably. When he did that, I made up my mind to drop the whole thing, and ...
— By Shore and Sedge • Bret Harte

... from some epidemic on the other. You pass to your business through a street full of roughs, and in your own store are men wishing you to die that they may take your place, seeking every opportunity to overreach you; and then wonder if I smile when you ask me ...
— Brook Farm • John Thomas Codman

... In which I'le be your helper: we are two, and they are two: two Sisters, rich alike, only the elder has the prouder Dowry: In troth I pity this disgrace in you, yet of mine own I am senceless: do but follow my Counsel, and I'le pawn my spirit, we'l overreach 'em yet; the ...
— The Scornful Lady • Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

... is unnecessary for me to enjoin the strictest justice in dealing with the natives. This your own principles will lead you invariably to follow, but while doing so yourself, it is decidedly necessary to be careful not to appear to overreach or insult any one by the conduct of ...
— The Personal Life Of David Livingstone • William Garden Blaikie

... course, is writing in the light of later knowledge, and even, setting that aside, I am very far from agreeing with his psychological deduction. Just as a shy man will so overreach himself in his efforts to dissemble his shyness as to assume an air of positive arrogance, so might a pure lady who had succumbed as Miss Armytage pretended, upon finding herself forced to such self-accusation, bear herself with a boldness which was no more than ...
— The Snare • Rafael Sabatini

... routine of his work—the drill, the sifting of patrol reports, the minutiae of the service—overreach into the afternoon hours: then he was free to range the country, to learn its trails and towns, its people and its spirit. His big gray pony had become a familiar sight in every village, on nearly every plantation. Sometimes he was gone upon two-day trips up or down the coast, or riding the narrow ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... odious and shameful trial," says Guizot, "the judges' prejudiced servility and scientific subtlety were employed for three months to wear out the courage or overreach the understanding of a young girl of nineteen, who made no defence beyond holding her tongue or appealing to God, who had dictated to her that which she had done." Formal accusation was made under twelve heads or articles, based on the preliminary examination, and the trial proceeded ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... enactment, the {p.15} second grade of territorial government was hastily and high-handedly forced upon the people for this purpose. It was probably in view of these measures that Mr. Lemen recorded his belief that President Jefferson "will find means to overreach the evil attempts of the pro-slavery party." Early in the year 1806 the Vincennes memorial was introduced into Congress for the third time and again favorably reported from committee, but to no avail. It was about this time, as we learn from his diary, that ...
— The Jefferson-Lemen Compact • Willard C. MacNaul

... Dark-browed women in the very meridian of beauty bring up the rear, dragging or carrying a race of swarthy progeny, all alike distinguished for the sparkling eyes and raven hair, which, with a cunning nothing can overreach, and a nature nothing can tame, seem to be the peculiar inheritance of the Gipsy. Their costume is striking, not to say grotesque. Some of the girls, and all the matrons, bind their brows with various ...
— Gipsy Life - being an account of our Gipsies and their children • George Smith

... in; and the sun had burnt him, not a wholesome red or brown, but dirty yellow. He had bright dark eyes, which he kept half closed; only peeping out of the corners, and even then with a glance that seemed to say, 'Now you won't overreach me; you want to, but you won't.' His arms rested carelessly on his knees as he leant forward; in the palm of his left hand, as English rustics have their slice of cheese, he had a cake of tobacco; in his right a penknife. He struck into the dialogue with ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... midst of peaceful industrial civilization. The coarser forms of cruelty are disappearing, and the butchery of men has greatly diminished. But most people apply to industrial pursuits a notion of antagonism derived from ages of warfare, and seek in all manner of ways to cheat or overreach one another. And as in more barbarous times the hero was he who had slain his tens of thousands, so now the man who has made wealth by overreaching his neighbours is not uncommonly spoken of in terms which imply approval. Though gentlemen, moreover, no longer ...
— The Destiny of Man - Viewed in the Light of His Origin • John Fiske

... the more urgently does it require a better concentration and economy of effort. In order to fight a rival, it is necessary to leave off fighting one's self, and be healthy and single-minded. An industrial corporation, in order to overreach its competitors, is compelled to adjust its intricate functions with incredible nicety, to utilize by-products, and even to introduce old-age pensions for the promotion {26} of morale among its employees. And so a nation, to be strong in war, must enjoy peace and justice at home. War has ...
— The Moral Economy • Ralph Barton Perry

... the history of a sordid yet reckless life. His conversation was repellent to me beyond expression. He uttered the meanest sentiments, and he chuckled over them as the maxims of a superior sagacity; he avowed himself a knave upon system, and upon the lowest scale. To overreach, to deceive, to elude, to shuffle, to fawn, and to lie, were the arts that he confessed to with so naked and cold a grossness, that one perceived that in the long habits of debasement he was unconscious of what was not debased. Houseman seemed ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... landing by wading. Powhatan at their request sent them venison, turkeys, and bread; the next day he feasted them, and then inquired when they were going, ignoring his invitation to them to come. Hereupon followed a long game of fence between Powhatan and Captain Smith, each trying to overreach the other, and each indulging profusely in lies and pledges. Each professed the utmost love for ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... permanent results. He stands out to the gaze of time, the model of what a great and fortunate statesman should be, so long as mankind have evil passions as well as lofty virtues, and the state that he seeks to serve is surrounded by powerful and restless foes, whom it is necessary to overreach where ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... distrustful by nature, setting aside any additional impulse to curiosity that he might have derived from Dick's incautious manner. But knowing the scheme they had planned, why should he offer to assist it? This was a question more difficult of solution; but as knaves generally overreach themselves by imputing their own designs to others, the idea immediately presented itself that some circumstances of irritation between Quilp and the old man, arising out of their secret transactions and not unconnected perhaps with ...
— The Old Curiosity Shop • Charles Dickens

... necessity of preying upon one another, we found that there was no hurry. The good work would wait to be well done; and one of the earliest effects of the Evolution was the disuse of the swift trains which had traversed the continent, night and day, that one man might overreach another, or make haste to undersell his rival, or seize some advantage of him, or plot some profit to his loss. Nine-tenths of the railroads, which in the old times had ruinously competed, and then, in the hands of the Accumulation, had been united to impoverish and oppress the people, ...
— A Traveler from Altruria: Romance • W. D. Howells

... commanding air bade Elisa follow on. She, rather tartly than otherwise, not out of malice, but of old habit, began to speak thus, "Many folk, knowing much, imagine that others know nothing, and so ofttimes, what while they think to overreach others, find, after the event, that they themselves have been outwitted of them; wherefore I hold his folly great who setteth himself without occasion to test the strength of another's wit. But, for that maybe all are not of my opinion, it pleaseth me, whilst following on the given ...
— The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio • Giovanni Boccaccio

... danger. For the rest, I must beg of you to wait for me and to trust me. The women of the name you bear have often had the same burden laid on them and have carried it nobly. Yet I know that your courage will match and overreach anything they have shown. I salute you, madame, in homage. I shall come to you ...
— Montlivet • Alice Prescott Smith

... for, and in that wolfish society the struggle for bread borrowed a peculiar desperation from the tenderest sentiments. For the sake of those dependent on him, a man might not choose, but must plunge into the foul fight,—cheat, overreach, supplant, defraud, buy below worth and sell above, break down the business by which his neighbor fed his young ones, tempt men to buy what they ought not and to sell what they should not, grind his laborers, ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... this grotesque but wonderful actor—a mountebank sometimes and sometimes a living truth—would play at home after driving us all mad in America, I went to see him in Sir Giles Overreach. He played with more spirit, more of settled purpose, than with us, being more in earnest, I think, and better supported. There is one absurdity in the play, which was made particularly offensive by Oxberry's exaggeration. The dinner is kept waiting, and the whole business of ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... climb if they could only gain a clear passage by this river from the interior plateau to the sea, made friends with the native chiefs of Uzegura, and succeeded in establishing it as a thoroughfare. Avarice, however, that fatal enemy to the negro chiefs, made them overreach themselves by exorbitant demands of taxes. Then followed contests for the right of appropriating the taxes, and the whole ended in the closing of the road, which both parties were equally anxious to keep open for ...
— The Discovery of the Source of the Nile • John Hanning Speke

... with those whose language we do not understand, and, as St. Augustine teaches, a man would more readily live with his dog than with a foreigner, less pleasant certainly is our converse with those who make use of frauds artificially covered, overreach their hearers by deceits, address them insidiously, observe the right moment, and catch at words to their purpose, by which truth is hidden under a covering; and so on the other hand nothing is sweeter than the society of those, who both ...
— Apologia pro Vita Sua • John Henry Newman

... Bazan, His Last Legs, London Assurance, Old Heads and Young Hearts, and some other dramas. Dorothy and Mrs. Douglas were devotees of the theater. I enjoyed Richelieu and Macbeth, and I had seen Forrest as Sir Charles Overreach and Claude Melnotte; but for many of the plays I did not care. Douglas was indifferent to the theater. He was himself too much of a player on the stage of American affairs to be illusioned by any ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... strange in that. You would like me to confess to some black iniquity that would make us better friends, eh? Well, it so happens that I was not alone to-night, but that another person saw the poor woman's death and can bear me out in everything I say. No, Pancho, you overreach yourself. Now then"— Esteban was quick-tempered, and for years he had struggled against an instinctive distrust and dislike of the plantation manager— "remember that I have become the head of this house, and your employer. You will do better to think ...
— Rainbow's End • Rex Beach

... ends, just as a joint-stock company is made up; but it will soon split them up again. Each man, in a merely selfish community, will begin, after a time, to play on his own account as well as work on his own account—to oppress and overreach for his own ends as well as to be honest and benevolent for his own ends, for he will find ill-doing far easier, and more natural, in one sense, and a plan that brings in quicker profits, than well-doing; and so this godless, loveless, every-man-for- himself ...
— Twenty-Five Village Sermons • Charles Kingsley

... monopoly. Mitchell, one of the grasping patentees who had purchased of the favourite the power of robbing the nation, was fined and imprisoned for life. Mompesson, the original, it is said, of Massinger's Overreach, was outlawed and deprived of his ill-gotten wealth. Even Sir Edward Villiers, the brother of Buckingham, found it convenient to leave England. A greater name is to be added to the ignominious list. By this Parliament ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... case), on the general ground of wishing to keep quiet. If Miss Bordereau suspected me of ulterior aims she would suspect me less if I should be businesslike, and yet I consented not to be so. It was possible she intended her omission as an impertinence, a visible irony, to show how she could overreach people who attempted to overreach her. On that hypothesis it was well to let her see that one did not notice her little tricks. The real reading of the matter, I afterward perceived, was simply the poor old woman's desire to emphasize the fact that I ...
— The Aspern Papers • Henry James

... York as a young man he was a teacher, and teachers are not generally very rich. At last he went into business, starting in a small way, and worked his way up by degrees. But there was one thing he determined in the beginning: that he would be strictly honorable in all his dealings, and never overreach any one for the sake of making money. If there was a chance for him, Dick, there is ...
— Ragged Dick - Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot-Blacks • Horatio Alger

... than for young people who are thinking of marrying to attempt to deceive each other. What is the good of it? A very short period of married life will entirely dispel the illusion. I suppose people of the world may think it fair to overreach one another in their dealings, saying "everyone for himself." They have no intention of seeking to promote the other's happiness; present gain is all they want. But a married pair, to be ...
— The Ladies Book of Useful Information - Compiled from many sources • Anonymous

... Would England give such a man up? No more than she will now give up the slaves that run from the American vessel, which is driven in by stress of weather. One of the vices of philanthropy is to overreach its own policy, by losing sight of ...
— Ned Myers • James Fenimore Cooper

... kinds, grades, and powers, benign and malicious, it seems a grand conception among the Indians to create a personage strong enough in his necromantic and spiritual powers to baffle the most malicious, beat the stoutest, and overreach the most cunning. In carrying out this conception in the following myth, they have, however, rather exhibited an incarnation of the power of Evil than of ...
— The Myth of Hiawatha, and Other Oral Legends, Mythologic and Allegoric, of the North American Indians • Henry R. Schoolcraft

... with all of it? What do we gain by trying to overreach each other? What advantage in a system where it's always the rogue that wins? If I was a king to-morrow, I'd rather fine a fellow for quoting Blackstone than for blasphemy, and I'd distribute all the law libraries in the kingdom ...
— Lord Kilgobbin • Charles Lever

... Balfour would in the end secure the oyster, while Mr. Coe was left with the shell. But Harry had darker forebodings still; she was instinctively confident that there was enmity at work in the new-comer, as well as the readiness common to all speculators to overreach a friend. There was a look in his pallid face, when it glanced, as he thought unheeded, on either Charles or Solomon, which, to her mind, boded ill. If it did so, it was certainly unsuspected by those on whom it fell. Mr. Coe had apparently ...
— Bred in the Bone • James Payn

... alive, and so far at any rate they agreed with me. Nay, they had eyes, mouths, legs, if not arms, and feet, so there was much in which we were both of a mind, but surely they must be mistaken in arming themselves so very heavily. Any creature on getting what the turtle aimed at would overreach itself and be landed not in safety but annihilation. It should have no communion with the outside world at all, for death could creep in wherever the creature could creep out; and it must creep out somewhere ...
— Essays on Life, Art and Science • Samuel Butler

... you should go free, to perpetrate more cowardly interference, after spoiling that well-laid plan? Hee-hee! You poor fool! Busy-bodies such as you invariably overreach themselves. Having tricked me two or three times, you thought, didn't you? that you could draw me here to kill Scharnhoff, that poor old sheep. You were careful, weren't you? to let Omar Mahmoud go, in order ...
— Jimgrim and Allah's Peace • Talbot Mundy

... order and legality. (6) It was a design worth the venture: if they succeeded they would become the saviours of their country; if not—why, in the effort to grasp the fairest flower of happiness, they would but overreach, and find instead a glorious termination ...
— Hellenica • Xenophon

... did not destroy the rage for speculation, although it taught many useful truths—that national prosperity is not advanced by stockjobbing; that financiers, however great their genius, generally overreach themselves; that great dividends are connected with great risk; that circumstances beyond human control will defeat the best-laid plan; that it is better to repose upon the operation of the ordinary laws of trade; and that nothing but strict integrity ...
— A Modern History, From the Time of Luther to the Fall of Napoleon - For the Use of Schools and Colleges • John Lord

... valiant though you be, you shall not thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not persuade me. Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely under my loss and give up the girl at your bidding? Let the Achaeans find me a prize in fair exchange to my liking, or I will ...
— The Iliad • Homer

... of the hind foot strikes and injures the heel or quarter of the forefoot the horse is said to overreach. It rarely happens except when the animal is going fast; hence is most common in trotting and running horses. In trotters the accident generally happens when the animal breaks from a trot to a run. The outside heels and quarters are most ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... hardly be believed that, especially among the cunning Yankees, such "mines and treasures" stories should be credited; but it is a peculiar feature in the US that the inhabitants, so difficult to overreach in other matters, will greedily take the bait when "mines" or "hidden treasure" are spoken of. In Missouri and Wisconsin, immense beds of copper ore and lead have been discovered in every direction. Thousands of poor, ignorant ...
— Travels and Adventures of Monsieur Violet • Captain Marryat

... and cunning, attempt to take him with a trap. Rogue that he is, he always suspects some trick, and one must be more of a fox than he is himself to overreach him. At first sight it would appear easy enough. With apparent indifference he crosses your path, or walks in your footsteps in the field, or travels along the beaten highway, or lingers in the vicinity of stacks and remote barns. Carry the carcass of a pig, or a fowl, or a dog, to a distant ...
— In the Catskills • John Burroughs

... he, 'the King's daughter shall not overreach us;' and, loading his gun, he shot so cleverly, that he shot away the horse's skull from under the runner's head, without its hurting him. Then the runner awoke, jumped up, and saw that his pitcher ...
— The Yellow Fairy Book • Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang

... Persons who had schooled themselves to control their emotion till they had scarcely any emotion left to control, were repelled rather than attracted by Kean's relentless anatomy of all the strongest feeling of our nature. In Sir Giles Overreach, a character almost devoid of poetry, Kean's acting displayed with such powerful and relentless truth the depths of a cruel, avaricious man, baffled in all his vilest schemes, that the effect he produced was absolutely awful. As no bird but ...
— The Drama • Henry Irving



Words linked to "Overreach" :   outwit, go wrong, outsmart, trounce, outdo, crush, beat, outmatch, outfox, outgo, exceed, outstrip, miscarry, surpass, outperform, fail, beat out, vanquish, circumvent, shell



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