When you overprotect someone, you baby or coddle them — you protect them too much. If your parents overprotect you, they never let you make mistakes or take risks.

Overprotection comes from wanting to keep someone safe all the time, and it's particularly common for a parent to overprotect a child. No mom or dad wants to see their child get hurt, but when they overprotect, they make it impossible for their son or daughter to take the risks that teach them important life lessons. Overprotect and all its various forms were coined in the 1920s, in reference to parents and their children.

Definitions of overprotect
  1. verb
    protect excessively
    “Don't overprotect your son--he is an adult now!”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    protect, secure
    shield from danger, injury, destruction, or damage
  2. verb
    care for like a mother
    synonyms: fuss, mother
    see moresee less
    type of:
    care, give care
    provide care for
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week