Overly vs Too - What's the difference?

overly | too |

As an adverb overly

is to an excessive degree.

As an adjective overly

is (obsolete) careless; negligent; inattentive; superficial; not thorough.

As a noun too is





  • To an excessive degree.
  • Parents can be overly protective of their children.
  • *
  • This means, at times, long and perhaps overly discursive discussions of other taxa.


    (en adjective)
  • (obsolete) Careless; negligent; inattentive; superficial; not thorough.
  • (Bishop Hall)
  • (obsolete) Excessive; too much.
  • (Coleridge)






  • (lb) Likewise.
  • *, chapter=16
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=The preposterous altruism too !
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-26, author=(Leo Hickman)
  • , volume=189, issue=7, page=26, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= How algorithms rule the world , passage=The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. And, as their ubiquity spreads, so too does the debate around whether we should allow ourselves to become so reliant on them – and who, if anyone, is policing their use.}}
  • (lb) Also; in addition.
  • *
  • *:They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too .
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-19, author=(Timothy Garton Ash)
  • , volume=189, issue=6, page=18, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Where Dr Pangloss meets Machiavelli , passage=Hidden behind thickets of acronyms and gorse bushes of detail, a new great game is under way across the globe. Some call it geoeconomics, but it's geopolitics too . The current power play consists of an extraordinary range of countries simultaneously sitting down to negotiate big free trade and investment agreements.}}
  • (lb) To an excessive degree; over; more than enough.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-08-03, volume=408, issue=8847, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Yesterday’s fuel , passage=The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania.
  • To a high degree, very.
  • :
  • Used to contradict a negative assertion.
  • :
  • Usage notes

    * When used in their senses as degree adverbs, very'' and ''too'' never modify verbs; ''very much'' and ''too much do instead. * It is unusual but not unheard of for too in its senses of "likewise" or "also" to begin a sentence; when it does, though, it is invariably followed by a comma.


    * as well, along with * excessively, extremely, overmuch, unnecessarily

    See also

    * too too