over·​bear ˌō-vər-ˈber How to pronounce overbear (audio)
overbore ˌō-vər-ˈbȯr How to pronounce overbear (audio) ; overborne ˌō-vər-ˈbȯrn How to pronounce overbear (audio) also overborn ˌō-vər-ˈbȯrn How to pronounce overbear (audio) ; overbearing

transitive verb

: to bring down by superior weight or force : overwhelm
: to domineer over
: to surpass in importance or cogency : outweigh

Examples of overbear in a Sentence

that year the football team simply overbore opponent after opponent with steamroller ruthlessness
Recent Examples on the Web The relationships run the spectrum of tremendous partnerships to overbearing fathers. Ndaschel, oregonlive, 1 June 2023 Beyond the regular challenges of everyday existence—chaotic households, traffic jams, overbearing bosses—the looming presence of a deadly virus over the past three years has made even mundane decisions feel fraught. Erik Olsen, Popular Science, 4 May 2023 In the absence of hard numbers, RTO demands can look like overbearing and infantilizing attempts to micromanage employees who are already performing well. Simon Willis, Fortune, 5 Apr. 2023 This is a subtly engaging automobile—enjoyable and refined but never overbearing. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, 4 Apr. 2023 Paired with white fixtures and minimal accessories, the look is polished, not overbearing. Caitlin Sole, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Mar. 2023 People throw around the term loosely to describe those who are self-absorbed, entitled and manipulative – from overbearing parents to destructive exes. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2023 Speaking of hope, I was quoted in this Harper’s Magazine piece by Kyle Paoletta, who makes the case that some climate journalists have swung from overbearing doom-ism to overzealous optimism. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 23 Mar. 2023 That includes grand jurors, whose constitutional function is to be the citizen’s protection against overbearing prosecutors, making sure there is sufficient evidence before someone is stigmatized by a formal criminal accusation. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, 23 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overbear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of overbear was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near overbear

Cite this Entry

“Overbear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overbear. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


over·​bear ˌō-vər-ˈba(ə)r How to pronounce overbear (audio)
overbore -ˈbō(ə)r How to pronounce overbear (audio)
; overborne -ˈbō(ə)rn How to pronounce overbear (audio)
also overborn -ˈbȯ(ə)rn How to pronounce overbear (audio) ; overbearing
: to bring down by a stronger weight or force : overpower
: to exceed in importance or forcefulness : outweigh

More from Merriam-Webster on overbear

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