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

  • transitive v. To shoot or pass over or beyond.
  • transitive v. To miss by or as if by shooting, hitting, or propelling something too far.
  • transitive v. To fly beyond or past; overrun: The plane overshot the runway.
  • transitive v. To go beyond; exceed.
  • intransitive v. To shoot or go too far.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The amount by which something goes too far.
  • n. When the population of a species exceeds its environment's carrying capacity.
  • v. To go too far.
  • v. To shoot too far.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To fly beyond the mark.
  • transitive v. To shoot over or beyond; to miss.
  • transitive v. To go beyond an intended point or limit.
  • transitive v. To pass swiftly over; to fly beyond.
  • transitive v. To exceed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shoot over, as water on a wheel.
  • To shoot or go beyond; fly beyond; hence, to exceed; overstep.
  • To shoot over or beyond, as a mark.
  • To shoot over or too far; hence, to overstep due bounds in any respect.

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

  • v. shoot beyond or over (a target)
  • n. an approach that fails and gives way to another attempt
  • v. aim too high


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The report says the overshoot is largely due to carbon emissions, and now accounts for half of humanity's ecological footprint.

    2030: The date we need to double our Earth

  • The gist of the post, written by a Canadian soil scientist, is that the Earth's human population has basically been in overshoot mode ever since early civilizations put down their bows, atlatls and spears in favor of hoes and plows.

    On Hunting and Apocalypse

  • Humanity has probably been in overshoot of the Earth's carrying capacity since it abandoned hunter gathering in favor of crop cultivation (~ 8,000 BCE) and it has been running up its ecological debt since that time.

    On Hunting and Apocalypse

  • This is increasing the risks of a near-term overshoot for the euro.

  • In the long run the stock market is a weighing machine, so the short-term overshoot will correct itself eventually.

    US Market Commentary from Seeking Alpha

  • The central bank said in its quarterly inflation report today that there are "significant uncertainties" around the outlook for inflation and that the near-term overshoot of the target may be "more pronounced" if commodity prices continue to rise. -- Top News

  • The impression is also formed that what they refer to as overshoot occurred in about the year 1890, so this to me seems like an indication of how far out on an unsustainable limb we are, having been living on borrowed or stolen resources for over 100 years now ---- when the freight train collides with the stone wall it's not gonna be pretty. "

    American Chronicle

  • EU/IMF inspectors visiting Athens feel Greece is not pursuing reforms vigorously enough, while Greek officials say the main reason for the overshoot is a worse-than-expected, austerity-induced recession.

    Reuters: Top News

  • This has major policy implications; some politicians have accepted the idea of overshoot -- that we will miss what is a safe stabilisation point and then cut emissions back, in the process winding back climate change.

    EcoEarth.Info Environment RSS Newsfeed

  • It has been scientifically estimated that the global footprint of mankind exceeded the Earth's biocapacity in the mid 1980's, and that since that time we have been operating in an "overshoot" mode, meaning that we are consuming the planet's resources faster than they are regenerating.

    Matthew Stein: How Did Things Get so Bad So Quickly? (Sustainability Primer Part 1)


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  • "Increasingly, environmental scientists insist we have overshot the Earth's carrying capacity. I believe they are right; the proof is everywhere. Our inability to live as we do, at our current numbers, without causing pervasive environmental degradation is the very definition of carrying capacity overshoot.

    Overshoot, we know, is followed by population decline. As we have learned form other species, this manifests itself initially with a crash."

    - John Feeney, Population: The elephant in the room, BBC website, 2 Feb 2009.

    February 3, 2009