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verb over·come \ˌō-vər-ˈkəm\

Simple Definition of overcome

  • : to defeat (someone or something)

  • : to successfully deal with or gain control of (something difficult)

  • : to affect (someone) very strongly or severely

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of overcome

overcameplay \-ˈkām\overcomeovercoming

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to get the better of :  surmount <overcome difficulties>

  3. 2 :  overwhelm

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to gain the superiority :  win

overcomer noun

Examples of overcome in a sentence

  1. After a tough battle, they overcame the enemy.

  2. a story about overcoming adversity

  3. She overcame a leg injury and is back running again.

Origin of overcome

Middle English, from Old English ofercuman, from ofer over + cuman to come

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of overcome

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of <Caesar conquered Gaul>. vanquish implies a complete overpowering <vanquished the enemy and ended the war>. defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals <the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas>. subdue implies a defeating and suppression <subdued the native tribes after years of fighting>. reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender <the city was reduced after a month-long siege>. overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle <overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks>. overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power <violently overthrew the old regime>.

OVERCOME Defined for Kids


verb over·come \ˌō-vər-ˈkəm\

Definition of overcome for Students

overcame \-ˈkām\overcomeovercoming

  1. 1 :  to win a victory over :  conquer <Soldiers overcame the enemy.>

  2. 2 :  to gain control of through great effort <He overcame his fear of heights.>

  3. 3 :  to cause to lose physical ability or emotional control <Firefighters were overcome by smoke.> <The family was overcome by grief.>

Seen and Heard

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expressing little or no emotion

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