From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishoverestimateo‧ver‧es‧ti‧mate1 /ˌəʊvərˈestɪmeɪt $ ˌoʊ-/ ●○○ AWL verb [transitive] 1 JUDGEto think something is better, more important etc than it really is OPP underestimate He tends to overestimate his own abilities. The importance of training in health and safety cannot be overestimated (=is extremely important).2 GUESSto guess an amount or value that is too high OPP underestimate Most patients overestimated how long they had had to wait to see a doctor.COLLOCATIONSphrasessomething cannot be overestimated (also something can hardly be overestimated) (=used to emphasize that something is very important)His influence on rock music cannot be overestimated.The importance of good medical care can hardly be overestimated.it is hard/difficult to overestimate something (=used to emphasize that something is very important)It is hard to overestimate the effect the war has had on these children.it is easy to overestimate something (=used to say that something is not as important as some people think)It is easy to overestimate the effect of prison on criminals.adverbsconsistently overestimate somethingThe CIA consistently overestimated the Soviet Union's military strength.seriously overestimate somethingWe seriously overestimated how much confidence he had in himself.massively/grossly/vastly etc overestimate somethingWestern countries massively overestimated the extent of the problem. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusoverestimate• The significance of this result, whose outlines have been generally confirmed since, can hardly be overestimated.• I made enough food for forty people but it looks like I overestimated.• Biased estimates of variation in reproductive success may also cause the effects of particular phenotypic traits on reproductive success to be overestimated.• Even with that bleak assessment, however, Richard Helms overestimated his true influence.• We overestimated how long the journey would take, and arrived far too early.• After this it may be possible to evaluate whether he did overestimate its importance.• A Harvard University survey found that Americans significantly overestimate the cost of higher education.• The second mistake was overestimating the cost of memory.• It is hard to overestimate the impact of the crisis.• Some observers believe polls overestimated the influence of undecided voters.• In his budget and health care proposals, Clinton overestimated the public tolerance for new government programs.• People overestimated the risk of catching the disease.• The generals had overestimated the strength of the enemy forces.• Never overestimate your ability or strength when swimming in the ocean.cannot be overestimated• The significance of these changes cannot be overestimated.overestimateo‧ver‧es‧ti‧mate2 /ˌəʊvərˈestəmət $ ˌoʊ-/ AWL noun [countable] GUESSa calculation, judgment, or guess that is too large The figure of 30% is clearly an overestimate.
Examples from the Corpusoverestimate• Even this short period spent in Stages and 4 may be an overestimate.• When computing uplift from a Marie-type graph such situations would give rise to an overestimate of uplift for the Carboniferous.• We thought the job would cost $5000, but this was an overestimate.• These areas have apparently acquired an enhanced vitrinite reflectance which has led to an apparent overestimate of uplift.• It could be argued that this apparent overestimate is a true reflection of the total amount of uplift.• Even if most figures for waste are not overestimates, national statistics tell a less-than-apocalyptic tale.• Most historians at the moment would regard that as a wild overestimate.From Longman Business Dictionaryoverestimateo‧ver‧es‧ti‧mate /ˌəʊvərˈestəmeɪtˌoʊ-/ verb [transitive] to think that something is larger or greater than it really isForecasters had underestimated growth and overestimated inflation by about 0.5% a year. —overestimate /-ˈestəmət/ noun [countable]The figure of 30% is clearly an overestimate.→ See Verb table