from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To take reservations for (an airline flight, for example) beyond the capacity for accommodation.
- intransitive v. To take reservations beyond the capacity for accommodation: a restaurant that regularly overbooks for dinner.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To sell or guarantee more seats for for an event than actually exist.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The result is doctors drastically overbook, spend very little time with a patient, and more often than not don't correctly treat the problem.
Prisons overbook for the same reason holiday camps do: to compensate for the inevitable number of detainees who fail to show up for confirmed reservations for one reason or another, or those who escape.
(Boeing's production dropped more because of a strike in 2008.) "In recent years, we could have ramped up far more dramatically, but we preferred to overbook," Mr. Enders said.
I understand, airlines desperately need to make money and overbook to keep flight costs down in the face of high fuel charges.
I tend to overbook myself, like an airline that sells more seats than it has.
Like the airlines, these medical plans overbook their schedules.
They "guarantee" a room by obligating you to pay full price for it even if you don't show up, but they also reserve the right to overbook the hotel by 5 rooms and re-book your room at another La Quinta.
Well, this is all fine and dandy, but now a new policy is in place that allows central reservations (1800 call center) to overbook a hotel by 5 rooms even if the hotel is completely full.
People who overbook their lives often have trouble saying no, limiting time with people who stress them out, and letting go of perfectionistic standards for both themselves and others.
To do this, overzealous staff overbook the president with constant travel and public appearances, much of it unnecessary, in order to ensure he has as much people exposure as possible.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.