overbearing

adjective
over·​bear·​ing | \ ˌō-vər-ˈber-iŋ How to pronounce overbearing (audio) \

Definition of overbearing

1a : tending to overwhelm : overpowering had to deal with his overbearing mother
b : decisively important : dominant didn't think it was the overbearing consideration here— J. S. Cooper
2 : harshly and haughtily arrogant the mayor's overbearing manner of dealing with employees

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from overbearing

overbearingly \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈber-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce overbearingly (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for overbearing

proud, arrogant, haughty, lordly, insolent, overbearing, supercilious, disdainful mean showing scorn for inferiors. proud may suggest an assumed superiority or loftiness. too proud to take charity arrogant implies a claiming for oneself of more consideration or importance than is warranted. a conceited and arrogant executive haughty suggests a consciousness of superior birth or position. a haughty aristocrat lordly implies pomposity or an arrogant display of power. a lordly condescension insolent implies contemptuous haughtiness. ignored by an insolent waiter overbearing suggests a tyrannical manner or an intolerable insolence. an overbearing supervisor supercilious implies a cool, patronizing haughtiness. an aloof and supercilious manner disdainful suggests a more active and openly scornful superciliousness. disdainful of their social inferiors

Examples of overbearing in a Sentence

He had to deal with his overbearing mother. Her husband's overbearing manner made her miserable.

Recent Examples on the Web

That’s good news for you this summer as crowds are never overbearing, including (remarkably) in the cobblestoned Centro Histórico (Historic Center), UNESCO’s very first World Heritage city. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Places to Go This Summer That Won't Be Full of Tourists," 11 May 2018 Consumed by her nagging, overbearing affectations, the Jewish mother was to blame for the persistent woes of the Jewish American male — his anxiety, his neuroticism, his own assimilation failures. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 Feeling pressure from his overbearing father, a disciple of toxic masculinity, Jack decides to enlist in the war. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 3 Episode 4 Finally Introduces Jack's Brother Nicky," 17 Oct. 2018 This spring, the teen girls of Blockers debated the future of their virgin status and took on their overbearing parents without a hint of Valley Girl whining. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Why calling women 'strong female leads' is degrading," 2 July 2018 The pictures show Engledow and his adorable tot in a variety of scenarios meant to parody overbearing parents. Lauren Le Vine, Redbook, "Morning Headlines: Meet Our Stylish Staff, Black Friday Is Taking Over Thanksgiving — and More," 12 Nov. 2013 More importantly, this set of headphones proves supremely comfortable—both lighter and more breathable around the ears than its predecessors, with a healthy but not overbearing amount of soft pleather padding around the ear cups and headband. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—tech and gear for travel that we’d buy," 13 Nov. 2018 Writing to his friend, the mathematician Benedetto Castelli, Galileo first outlined his rejection of Church dogma and its overbearing influence on the Copernican theory that Earth revolved around the sun. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Newfound Galileo Letter Suggests He Lied to Dupe the Church and Avoid Persecution," 25 Sep. 2018 While Uber and Lyft may be able to stomach a pause in what is Uber’s largest market in the U.S., attempts to replicate these bills in other places may prove to be much more overbearing or sweeping than those passed today in New York. Johana Bhuiyan, Recode, "Uber lost in NYC. But here’s the real problem.," 8 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of overbearing

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overbearing

Share overbearing

Statistics for overbearing

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overbearing

The first known use of overbearing was in 1614

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overbearing

overbearing

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of overbearing

disapproving : often trying to control the behavior of other people in an annoying or unwanted way

overbearing

adjective
over·​bear·​ing | \ ˌō-vər-ˈber-iŋ\

Kids Definition of overbearing

: acting in a proud or bossy way toward other people

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on overbearing

What made you want to look up overbearing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to a parable or parabola

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!