Definition of overblow

transitive verb

1 : to dissipate by or as if by wind : blow away
2 : to cover (as with snow) by blowing or being blown
3 : to blow (a pipe or other wind instrument) so vigorously as to evoke undesirable overtones that sometimes completely mask the fundamental tone
4 : to continue to blow in a converter after the impurities have been removed (as carbon from iron or sulfur from copper) completely or below a proper percentage
5a : distend, swell whom stout and high living have much overblow— Donagh MacDonagh
b : to puff up to inflated proportions : give a false pathos or bombastic or flamboyant quality to would have been easy to overblow the story— C. W. Morton

intransitive verb

1 of the wind, archaic : to blow too hard to allow light sails (as topsails) to be carried
2 : to force wind into a wind musical instrument in such a way as to change its pitch typically producing an overtone instead of its fundamental tone

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History and Etymology for overblow

Middle English overblowen, from over entry 1 + blowen to blow

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Cite this Entry

“Overblow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overblow. Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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