I swear I heard a synonym for "overexploiting" that started with "over-" and had a "wringing" or "twisting" meaning. But I can't find it.

Here's an example of what I'm aiming for: "Boy, Disney is really over-_______ the Star Wars franchise!". (as in: Disney is milking the Star Wars franchise as much as it can)

I wanted to say something like "overexploiting", "overdoing", "overusing" maybe. However, the word I thought existed had a "twist"/"wring"/"squeeze" sense, like wringing a tissue to get the last drop of water. Is there such a word or am I making one up?

  • Ah, you've already discarded squeeze. So, it's not that.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 24 at 9:13
  • Maybe I'll need indeed to make up my word:) but thanks for trying!
    – flen
    Apr 24 at 9:24

2 Answers 2


I can't think of the single you word you might mean, although "wringing dry" is a fairly common metaphor to mean something is being exploited to the maximum degree possible, for example "Disney is really wringing the Star Wars franchise dry!".

Another common word for the overuse of something in a negative way is "milking" - for example, "Disney is really milking the Star Wars franchise for every last drop!".

To be honest, 'overexploit' is not a word that is often used these days, mainly because the word 'exploit' has come to have an almost entirely negative connotation, so to use 'overexploit' implies that there is an acceptable degree of exploitation. 'Overuse' is fine, as 'use' is not necessarily negative, but it doesn't fully fit your context. I suppose you could say "overmilking", or add the prefix 'over' to just about any suitable verb to suggest it has been done excessively, but the same thought would apply - if you can do something to excess, there must be some reasonable degree. Personally, I wouldn't suggest "overwringing" as it isn't a recognisable word and 'wring' sounds too much like 'ring', so it would just cause confusion. And you couldn't say "overwringing dry" because 'dry' is as far as you can wring something anyway.

  • 1
    Thank you for the great answer! My brain likes to play tricks on me, maybe that's just a word I wished into being, but "wringing dry" will do
    – flen
    Apr 24 at 9:28

Disney is squeezing the Star Wars franchise for all its worth.

Cambridge Dictionary has this example under the entry squeeze.

The studio is using all sorts of marketing tricks to squeeze as much profit from the movie as they can.

To squeeze something dry means compressing, scrunching, wringing or twisting the shape of a material (often a piece of cloth or an item of clothing) until it is no longer saturated with liquid, e.g. squeezing lemons. Similarly, you can figuratively squeeze into a limited space or squeeze someone so tight until they are gasping for air.

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