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

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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 Further allegations of unethical, if not unsavory, behavior continued to dribble out, painting an increasingly detailed picture of an overbearing management culture. Geoffrey Smith, Fortune, "A lameduck CEO and a spying scandal that won’t go away—Credit Suisse braces for an awkward earnings call," 10 Feb. 2020 Despite her overbearing father-in-law’s criticisms and opposition from home, Alice forms beautiful friendships with these women, finding solace, comfort and acceptance with them and by helping others. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'The Giver of Stars,' Jojo Moyes' Latest Historical Novel, Is Surprisingly Modern," 2 Dec. 2019 While the French state may seem overbearing to some in Saint-Martin, whose residents are French citizens, its people are entitled to all the protections of France’s generous social net. Kirk Semple, New York Times, "After a Caribbean Hurricane, the Battle Is Where, or Even Whether, to Rebuild," 7 Oct. 2019 If letting some of your sister's overbearing or overprotective tendencies slide, so long as no one is getting hurt, then do it. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Sibling harmony destroyed by disagreements over care of elderly mother," 28 Sep. 2019 Homosexuality—once explained erroneously as the result of an overbearing mother—was classified as a form of mental illness in psychiatry's first diagnostic manual, published in 1952. The Editors, Scientific American, "A Nationwide Ban Is Needed for “Anti-Gay Therapy”," 13 Jan. 2020 Democrats warned of Congress enabling an overbearing, anything-goes presidency. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin delegation follows partisan pattern in impeachment vote; Ron Kind votes yes," 18 Dec. 2019 Despite her overbearing father in law’s criticisms and opposition from home, Alice forms beautiful friendships with these women, finding solace, comfort and acceptance with them and by helping others. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "'The Giver of Stars,' Jojo Moyes' Latest Historical Novel, Is Surprisingly Modern," 2 Dec. 2019 In media, Jews tend to adhere to a narrow band of ethnic tropes: the nebbish, the neurotic, the overbearing mother. Jamie Lauren Keiles, New York Times, "Adam Sandler’s Everlasting Shtick," 27 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of overbearing

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for overbearing

Time Traveler

The first known use of overbearing was in 1614

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Statistics for overbearing

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overbearing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overbearing. Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for overbearing

overbearing

adjective
How to pronounce overbearing (audio)

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

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Comments on overbearing

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