Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
Related to overextension: imprinting


tr.v. o·ver·ex·tend·ed, o·ver·ex·tend·ing, o·ver·ex·tends
1. To expand or disperse beyond a safe or reasonable limit: overextended their defenses.
2. To obligate (oneself) beyond a limit, especially a financial one.

o′ver·ex·ten′sion n.


the act of extending something too far



bite off more than one can chew To undertake more than one can handle; to overextend one-self. John H. Beadle used the phrase in Western Wilds, and the Men Who Redeem Them (1877).

burn the candle at both ends To over-extend one-self; to overdo; to use up or squander in two directions simultaneously. The phrase often carries connotations of dissipation. It comes from the French expression brusler la chandelle par les deux bouts, and first appeared in Randle Cotgrave’s A Dictionary of the French and English Tongues (1611).

lazy man’s load A burden too heavy to be carried; a task too large to be completed. This expression alludes to the purported tendency of lazy people to overburden themselves on one trip rather than make two trips with loads of a reasonable size.

serve two masters To split one’s energies between pursuits of good and evil, uprightness and decadence, kindness and cruelty, etc.; to attempt to adequately meet conflicting demands; to work against one-self. This expression, of Biblical origin, alludes to the self-defeating nature of the impractical if not futile attempt to obey two opposing sets of ideologies, morals, or ethics.

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)

spread one-self thin To overextend one-self, to be involved in so many projects simultaneously that none receives adequate attention; to overdo, to have too many irons in the fire. This popular expression compares a person’s limited capabilities and resources to a given amount of a literally spreadable substance, such as jam or butter, which can cover just so much bread before it becomes too thin to be tasted.

too many irons in the fire Too many projects requiring one’s attention, to the detriment of them all; so many undertakings in progress that none gets adequate attention. This expression, in use as early as 1549, refers to the pieces of iron a blacksmith heats in the forge before working on them; they must be hammered into the desired shape at precisely the right temperature. If he tries to prepare several at once, his efforts become counterproductive: he either gives short shrift to working the metal, or risks overheating it so that its malleability is adversely affected. A similar phrase, many irons in the fire, has the more positive meaning of several alternative ways to achieve one’s ends.



n. sobreextensión.
References in periodicals archive ?
Seven years have now passed since the financial crisis left crumbling cranes on skeletal structures in witness to the folly of economic overextension.
So Americans had to learn the hard way from overextension in Korea that they needed to set priorities (some theaters--Europe and Japan--were more important than others, like the Asian mainland, including China and Korea).
In as much as Israel fears Hezbollah's capacity to hurl nearly 1,200 rockets a day against it (although it is unclear how long such a tempo can be sustained), Parsi and Pillar take note of the party's overextension in Syria, which may act as a deterrent for the relatively isolated group, reticent to embark on a new adventure.
These days, Turkey is fatigued by overextension in Syria and the Middle East in general.
Immediate Onset of Pain after Twisting C Sports like tennis or hockey, that require athletes to rapidly twist their body, often result in hernias after the muscles are weakened with rapid overextension.
15] In a resource-limited setting such as the EC, this means an overextension of the current workforce, resulting in a very limited coverage of mental health requirements.
Yet what sent the British Empire into eclipse in the second decade of the 20th century was neither a loss of nerve nor utopian overextension, but the brute fact that Britain did not have the wherewithal to contain a united Germany forever.
In the book, Scahill contends that Blackwater exists as a mercenary force, and argues that Blackwater's rise is a consequence of the demobilisation of the US military following the Cold War and its overextension in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These countries are now more intertwined with the capital market than in the past and this, in combination with the loose monetary policy in the West, may have led to overextension of credit.
Nevertheless, he said that GCC economies were facing a panoply of challenges most of which concentrated in their reliance on oil revenues to prop up their budgets, the latter suffering from overextension in the past few years.
This focus -- rather than an ill-defined and defensive preoccupation with maintaining hegemony -- would enable the United States to forge a sustainable middle ground between isolationism and overextension.
This focus -- rather than an ill-defined and defensive preoccupation with maintaining hegemony -- would enable the US to forge a sustainable middle ground between isolationism and overextension.