over·​arch·​ing | \ˌō-vər-ˈär-chiŋ \

Definition of overarching 

1 : forming an arch overhead an overarching bower an overarching bridge

2 : dominating or embracing all else overarching goals overarching ambition projects of overarching public benefit— Bob Katz

Examples of overarching in a Sentence

Computer downtime is an overarching problem in all departments.

Recent Examples on the Web

The county uses tax dollars for four overarching purposes, which Emmett outlined. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Emmett: Harvey, population growth puts Harris County at ‘tipping point’," 2 June 2018 All that data serves an overarching purpose: to connect people the world over, sure—but also to help advertisers place their ads in front of receptive audiences. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "What Hearings? Advertisers Still Love Facebook," 13 Apr. 2018 The company’s overarching purpose would be to displace common consumer genetic sequencing firms like 23andMe and Helix. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "This Company Wants to Sequence Your Genome, Put It On a Blockchain—And Pay You For It," 9 Feb. 2018 While schools that censor student newspapers or ban certain clubs do violate free speech, these violations are permissible under the overarching principle of religious freedom. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "The Invisible Free Speech Crisis," 10 Apr. 2018 What are the overarching organizational principles of the book? Keith Marshall, NOLA.com, "If you build it: New guidebook tells the stories behind New Orleans architecture," 3 Apr. 2018 Peterson’s overarching narrative is one of renewal: make the West great again There is nothing particularly novel or controversial about Peterson’s theories, which read like a Wikipedia summary of the philosophy of Nietzsche. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The religious hunger that drives Jordan Peterson’s fandom," 1 June 2018 The overarching narrative continues no matter your choices, even adapting to the potential death of major characters without missing a beat. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Detroit: Become Human review: Robotic in all of the wrong ways," 24 May 2018 To be fair, much of Marvel Comics’ overarching narratives have revolved around items of power. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Avengers: Infinity War' Transcends Its Comic Book Origins," 28 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overarching.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of overarching

1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for overarching

The first known use of overarching was in 1720

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English Language Learners Definition of overarching

: including or influencing every part of something

More from Merriam-Webster on overarching

Britannica English: Translation of overarching for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overarching

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playful or foolish behavior

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