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

  • intransitive v. To spill over.
  • n. The act of spilling over.
  • n. Something that spills over: an overspill of milk.
  • n. Chiefly British Movement of people from overcrowded cities to less populated areas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. That which spills over.
  • v. To spill over, to overflow, to spill out of.

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

  • n. the occurrence of surplus liquid (as water) exceeding the limit or capacity
  • n. the relocation of people from overcrowded cities; they are accommodated in new houses or apartments in smaller towns


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • When I was young, douce burghs like Haddington and Dumfries accepted Glasgow "overspill" populations i.e. cleared slum-dwellers.

    Whae's Like Us ?

  • At first he believed his dreams to be some kind of overspill from a full-sense drama that was leaking into the Centurion Station gaiafield.

    The Dreaming Void

  • The council also began a programme of buying land in surrounding areas and moving people and industry into newly developed "overspill" estates.

    Latest news from the public and voluntary sectors, including health, children, local government and social care, plus SocietyGuardian jobs |

  • It was Dawley journalist Mr Bowdler who, in February 1955, wrote an article published in a Birmingham newspaper which suggested that the vast swathes of derelict land in east Shropshire could be used for housing to accommodate the Birmingham "overspill" population.

    Shropshire Star

  • The park, a maze of fences and wires and signposts, is undergoing regeneration; the Olympics is not mentioned, but, says Sinclair, it's the overspill from it.

    How power, money and art are shifting to the East End

  • You have to give them some space, she said, staring askance at my storage methods, which involved squishing together as many garments as possible and stowing the overspill under the bed, which was itself overspilling.

    Creating Your Own Clearance Rack

  • Zuccotti is already packed, according to reports, so there is going to be some overspill.5.39pm: The march is now leaving Foley Square and heading for Zuccotti Park, site of the Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

    Occupy Wall Street protests - live coverage

  • The Moscow-based Orbital Technologies has sky-high hopes that its planned Commercial Space Station can serve as a tourism hub for well-heeled travellers and offer overspill accommodation for the International Space Station and workspace for science projects.

    Russian Firm Plans Orbiting Hotel In Space

  • One forgets that forests have fallen to recover the overspill that bolsters potent inadequacy.

    Moon Poems

  • These accommodate the cultural overspill that comes with curating 10 shows a year and housing a bulging collection featuring Antony Gormley, Anselm Kiefer and Tracey Emin.

    10 of the best arts venues in south London


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.