Overthink vs think over

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Overthink and think over are two terms that seem very similar but in fact have different meanings. We will examine the difference in meaning between overthink and think over and look at a few examples of their use in sentences.

To overthink means to ponder something for much too long, to put too much effort into thinking about something. To overthink is a form of worrying. Overthink is a compound word, which is a term that is composed of two unrelated words joined together to form a new meaning. It is also a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are overthinks, overthought, overthinking.

To think something over means to ponder something carefully, to take the time and effort to consider something cautiously or deliberately. Note that the words think and over are sometimes separated by the item or situation being deliberated upon. For instance: I wanted to take a few hours to think things over. Think over is a phrasal verb, related words are thinks over, thought over, thinking over.


“At times, we overthink things too much,” Miller said. “We overthink it and that causes us to make a mistake.” (The Odessa American)

I just didn’t have time to sit and worry and overthink things. (The Guardian)

It’s a route mostly devoid of people, so it offers a great opportunity to think over what’s on your mind. (The New School Free Press)

The offer should be subject to a window period, usually 48 hours, to allow the vendor time to think it over. (Switzer Financial News)

We didn’t know if we were going to have a space or not, if they were going to keep the mall as is or not, and I’m sure they thought it over and checked everything out,” Smith said. (The Galesburg Register-Mail)