Overbilled vs. Overbuild

Photo of author


Overbilled and overbuild are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of overbilled and overbuild, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Overbilled is the past tense of the word overbill, which means to ask for an excess payment, to ask for a greater payment than that which is due. Overbilled is a compound word, which is a word that is derived from two separate words joined together. It was coined in the late 1800s, derived from the word over, meaning above or highest, and bill, meaning to charge an amount of money for goods or services rendered. Related words are overbill, overbills, overbilling.

Overbuild means to construct too many edifices or to construct a building to standards way in excess of what is necessary. Overbuild is also a compound word coined from the words over, meaning above or highest, and build, meaning to construct. Related words are overbuilds, overbuilt, overbuilding.


A former client has filed a malpractice suit against Kasowitz Benson Torres that claims the law firm overbilled for its services, even recording 24 hours of service by one biller in a single day. (The ABA Journal)

The state is also seeking about $97,000 reimbursed for overbilled salaries, unsupported food expenses and unapproved travel expenses. (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

The town might overbuild a sewer system at Bluebird Terrace mobile home park so that the system could later support a Route 9 sewer system as well. (Glens Falls Post-Star)

PBK’s presentation showed the stadium’s proposed features, including a press box, which will be built under 500 square feet to not overbuild and trigger the requirement for an elevator, as per regulations. (The Austin American-Statesman)

Enjoyed reading about these homophones? Check out some others we covered: