Word Choice: Overate vs. Overrate
  • 2-minute read
  • 8th February 2021

Word Choice: Overate vs. Overrate

The words “overate” and “overrate” are identical except one has an extra “r.” But these words have different meanings, so you won’t want to mix them up in your writing. Check out our guide below to find out how to use these terms correctly.

Overate (Simple Past Tense of “Overeat”)

“Overate” – spelled with one “r” – is the simple past tense of the verb “overeat,” meaning “eat too much.” We therefore use it when someone has eaten too much:

I overate at breakfast and now I have indigestion.

I’m too full for dinner because I overate at lunch.

She always overate when she was stressed.

We can break this down into two words: “over” and “ate.” The past participle form of this word, meanwhile, is “overeaten” (e.g., “He has overeaten on many occasions”).

Overrate (Rate Too Highly)

“Overrate” – spelled with a double “r” – is a verb that means “rate too highly.” We therefore use it when someone has a higher opinion of something than is justified:

People overrate his abilities just because he is handsome.

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Critics tend to overrate topical drama films.

I’ve always thought that U2 are overrated as a band.

In this case, we are combining “over” and “rate.” This word thus needs a double “r” because there is one at the end of “over” and another at the start of “rate.”

Summary: Overate or Overrate?

Although these words look very similar, they mean different things:

  • Overate means “ate too much” (i.e., over + ate).
  • Overrate means “rate too highly” (i.e., over + rate).

As shown above, splitting the words into their parts can help you tell them apart.

If you’d like extra help avoiding typos, though, our editors are always available. Why not give our free proofreading trial a go today to find out how we can help?

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