Pronunciation: [ˌə͡ʊvəkˈɒmpənsˌe͡ɪtɪŋ] (IPA)

The word "over-compensating" is spelled with the prefix "over-" meaning excessive or too much, and the verb "compensating," which means to make up for a loss or deficiency. In phonetic transcription, it is pronounced /ˌoʊvərˈkɑːmpənseɪtɪŋ/, with emphasis on the second syllable. This word is commonly used in psychology and social sciences to describe behavior where an individual goes out of their way to make up for perceived inadequacies or shortcomings.

OVER-COMPENSATING Meaning and Definition

  1. Over-compensating is a term used to describe a behavior or action characterized by an excessive effort to make up for a perceived inadequacy, failure, or shortcoming. This behavior occurs when an individual tries to overcorrect or overachieve in an attempt to compensate for a perceived or actual deficiency.

    In personal relationships, someone who is over-compensating may engage in exaggerated displays of affection, attention, or generosity to make up for feeling inadequate or guilty about something. This behavior may stem from a desire to regain trust, prove their worth, or alleviate guilt.

    In professional settings, over-compensation can manifest as an individual working excessively long hours, taking on too many tasks, or setting unrealistically high standards for themselves or others. This behavior may arise from a fear of failure, a desire for recognition or promotion, or an attempt to hide feelings of incompetence.

    Over-compensation can also occur in physical or emotional contexts. For instance, someone who feels insecure about their physical appearance might engage in excessive exercise, dieting, or cosmetic surgery to compensate for their perceived flaws. Similarly, individuals who feel socially inadequate may adopt an overly extroverted or aggressive demeanor to make up for their insecurities.

    Overall, over-compensating reflects a disproportionate effort to address or conceal a perceived deficiency, often resulting from underlying feelings of insecurity, guilt, or inadequacy.

Common Misspellings for OVER-COMPENSATING

  • overcompensating
  • over compensating
  • overpcompensating
  • over0-compensating
  • over-0compensating
  • overp-compensating
  • over-pcompensating
  • over--compensating
  • overmcompensating


The word "over-compensating" is derived from the combination of two words: "over" and "compensating".

The word "compensate" comes from the Latin word "compensare", which means "to weigh together", "to balance", or "to make up for". It entered the English language in the early 17th century with the meaning of providing an equivalent or counterbalance to something undesirable or lacking.

The prefix "over" comes from Old English, and is commonly used to indicate excess or superiority. When combined with "compensating", it creates the term "over-compensating", which means to excessively or excessively counterbalance something, usually as a reaction to a perceived deficiency or inadequacy.