Simple Definition of overweening
: too confident or proud
: too great : excessive and unpleasant
Examples of overweening in a sentence
<a director who has little patience for overweening actors who think they are above taking advice and criticism>
<overweening desire for wealth and fame>
Did You Know?
The overweening conceit which the greater part of men have of their own abilities is an ancient evil remarked by the philosophers and moralists of all ages. So wrote Adam Smith in his The Wealth of Nations. But while overweening conceit might be an age-old evil, the word overweening has only been part of English since the 14th century. It developed from the Middle English overwening, the present participle of the verb overwenen, which meant "to be arrogant." That term derived in turn from wenen, which meant "to think" or "to imagine." Today, the adjective overweening is the most widely used of the wenen descendants, but historical texts also occasionally include overween, a term for thinking too highly of your own opinion.
Origin of overweening
Middle English overwening, present participle of overwenen to be arrogant, from over + wenen to ween
First Known Use: 14th century
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