Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Excessively nervous or excited; agitated.
  • adj. Extremely elaborate or ornate; overdone: overwrought prose style.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. in a state of excessive nervousness, excitement, or anger; Extremely tense, anxious, or upset; filled with emotion, emotional; uneasy
  • adj. elaborate; overdone

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wrought upon excessively; overworked.
  • Extremely agitated or excited; overexcited; -- of people.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Worked too hard or too much.
  • Worked up or excited to excess; overexcited: as overwrought feelings, imagination, etc.
  • Worked all over; covered with decorative work: as, a garment overwrought with embroidered flowers.
  • Labored or elaborated to excess; overdone.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. deeply agitated especially from emotion

Etymologies

past participle of overwork (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Top citation, qroqqa. What a show that was!

    July 30, 2008

  • Jim: Do any of them say anything other than tired and emotional?
    Bernard: William Hickey said you were overwrought, Minister.
    Jim: Just overwrought, nothing about being drunk.
    Bernard: Just overwrought.
    Sir Humphrey: Overwrought as a newt actually.
    —'The Economy Drive', Yes Minister

    July 30, 2008