To overstate is to exaggerate or place too much importance on something. Your parents may overstate the dangers of driving on icy roads to scare you into being extra careful.

If you want your brother to help you move some furniture, you might overstate how much your back hurts. And, if you're ready for lunch but your friend is dawdling, you'll be tempted to overstate how cranky you get when you're hungry. More seriously, politicians have been known to overstate the threat of terrorism or other dangers in order to gain support for a bill or a candidate.

Definitions of overstate
  1. verb
    enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
    synonyms: amplify, exaggerate, hyperbolise, hyperbolize, magnify, overdraw
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    downplay, minimise, minimize, understate
    represent as less significant or important
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    overemphasise, overemphasize, overstress
    place special or excessive emphasis on
    blow, bluster, boast, brag, gas, gasconade, shoot a line, swash, tout, vaunt
    show off
    aggrandise, aggrandize, blow up, dramatise, dramatize, embellish, embroider, lard, pad
    add details to
    cause to seem more splendid
    speak in a blustering or scornful manner
    crow, gloat, triumph
    dwell on with satisfaction
    type of:
    misinform, mislead
    give false or misleading information to
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