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

Other Words from overbearing

overbearingly \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈber-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce overbearing (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 The dancer fights off understudies, an overbearing mother, a sleazy director, and her own demons in pursuit of perfection on and off the stage. Andrew Walsh, EW.com, 5 May 2022 His father, Ammon, is an overbearing, obnoxious jerk. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Apr. 2022 Her own younger sister, Bobbi (Amber Grappy), who’s seeking to adopt her own baby, initiated an estrangement years ago due to Natasha’s overbearing nature. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Apr. 2022 As Estelle Costanza, Harris was the overbearing mother of George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 3 Apr. 2022 Marvel will assume the role of Miss Millie — the unpleasant and overbearing mayor’s wife who hires Sofia (played by Danielle Brooks in the forthcoming adaptation) to be her maid. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 8 Apr. 2022 Green can be a warm color in nature, but here director Hiro Murai makes the vibrant trees feel threatening and overbearing as Alfred moves through them in his light blue sweatshirt, only intensifying the creepiness. Darren Franich, EW.com, 22 Mar. 2022 The raisins were more prominent than with the Mariano’s bread, but not overbearing. Ariel Cheung, chicagotribune.com, 11 Mar. 2022 How can mere sheets of plexiglass turn fierce and overbearing? Brian T. Allen, National Review, 10 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of overbearing

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of overbearing was in 1614

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overbearing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overbearing. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for overbearing


over·​bear·​ing | \ ˌō-vər-ˈber-iŋ \

Kids Definition of overbearing

: acting in a proud or bossy way toward other people

More from Merriam-Webster on overbearing

Nglish: Translation of overbearing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overbearing for Arabic Speakers


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