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an excess over what is normal or needed.
iron overload an excess of iron in the body; see hemochromatosis, hemosiderosis, and siderosis.
sensory overload a condition in which an individual receives an excessive or intolerable amount of sensory stimuli, as in a busy hospital or clinic or an intensive care unit; the effects of sensory overload are similar to those of sensory deprivation, including confusion and hallucination.


1 a burden greater than the capacity of the system designed to move or process it.
2 (in physiology) any factor or influence that stresses the body beyond its natural limits and may impair its health.


To exceed the capacity of a cell, physiological process, organism, or system, causing it to fail. overload

circulatory overload

Volume overload.

fluid overload

Volume overload.

iron overload

Organ failure caused by excessive accumulation of iron in the body, usually from frequent transfusions or hemochromatosis.

pressure overload

Demand placed on muscle, esp. heart muscle, in response to high blood pressure or stenotic valves. Over time pressure overload results in cardiac hypertrophy and, eventually, heart failure.

sensory overload

A condition in which sensory stimuli are received at an excessive rate or intensity. Sensory overload can produce increases in heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, confusion, anxiety, mental distress, and/or erratic behavior.

stress overload

Excessive amounts and types of demands that require action.

volume overload

An excess of blood or body fluids in the circulation or extracellular tissues. It is usually caused by transfusions or excessive fluid infusions that increase the venous pressure, esp. in patients with heart disease, and it can result in heart failure, pulmonary edema, and cyanosis.
Synonym: circulatory overload; fluid overload; hypervolemia


a larger load than the system can comfortably bear.

tube overload
when repeated exposures are made at high output. This may vaporize the target or damage the cathode.
veterinary overload
the popular term for the knowledge explosion and the need to learn more by the veterinarian.
References in periodicals archive ?
They explain the operation and impact of interconnectedness on three levels and analyze it in a way that serves to ground the mythology of information overload.
From the receiver's perspective, this is information overload, meaning that by far most messages are lost .
This multifaceted definition of information lends itself easily to fashioning a mythology of information overload for several reasons.
Other contributors to library and information science literature have also considered information in ways that lead to understanding it in process, which further supports developing a mythology of information overload.
From White's discussion it can be inferred that "potential customers" of the information professional choose to mediate their own exchange between internal and external memory, preferring to manage information overload on their own.
Library and information science literature about information overload is relatively thin.
One important study, sometimes referred to in the library and information science literature, examines information overload as an important socio-behavioral phenomenon.
Miller (1978) found that many forms of information overload exist and that they are becoming more common and stressful.
Miller's (1978) experiments measured how people compensate for information input overload and measured adjustment processes of omission, error, queuing (falling behind), filtering, and abstracting.
He explores the impact of information overload on human experience in a series of thoughtful essays infused with terms common to information theory (like noise, redundancy, and entropy).
For Klapp, overload manifests itself in culture as a widening gap between social problems and their solutions where meaning lags behind increased amounts of information.
Wurman (1990) adds another new wrinkle to the definition of information overload by explicitly connecting information anxiety to concern about access to information.