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

  • adj. Too sensitive, nervous, or tense.
  • adj. Too tightly strung: an overstrung archery bow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Excessively tense or nervous
  • adj. Strung too tightly

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Too highly strung; too sensitively organized.
  • Noting a pianoforte in which the strings are arranged in two sets, one crossing obliquely over the other.

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

  • adj. too tightly strung
  • adj. being in a tense state


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In case such an instrument has "overstrung" wires, it can be restored to a tone that is better than that of the usual upright piano.

    Practical Suggestions for Mother and Housewife

  • Ill-fed, suffering from innutrition and the evil effects of overcrowding and squalor, their constitutions develop a morbid craving for the drink, just as the sickly stomach of the overstrung Manchester factory operative hankers after excessive quantities of pickles and similar weird foods.


  • My overstrung nerves failed me suddenly, and I turned and ran -- ran as though some dreadful hand were behind me clutching at the skirt of my dress.

    Sole Music

  • I was so overstrung that he merely had to touch me to cause a shiver.


  • This intense desire, which made him work so many interests and devise so many springs, absorbed the last strength of his terribly overstrung soul.

    Albert Savarus

  • It should have helped calm her overstrung nerves, but instead it seemed to be bringing the room into super-focus.

    Purchased For Revenge

  • Her brother was tired and overstrung, but not suppressed.

    The Prussian Officer and Other Stories

  • Had she, perhaps, been a little overstrung in her talk about children like organ pipes?

    Look Back on Happiness

  • Whatever the reason for the sudden appearance of this ravishing vision, its effect upon my overstrung nerves was both instantaneous and wrenching.


  • Sometimes, words meant in the utmost respect were misconstrued by overstrung relatives of the dead and scarcely were the last shovels of earth mounded above the coffin before trouble began.

    Gone with the Wind


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