Definition of overblow

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to dissipate by or as if by wind :  blow away

  3. 2 :  to cover (as with snow) by blowing or being blown

  4. 3 :  to blow (a pipe or other wind instrument) so vigorously as to evoke undesirable overtones that sometimes completely mask the fundamental tone

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 of the wind, archaic :  to blow too hard to allow light sails (as topsails) to be carried

  9. 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

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of overblow

Middle English overblowen, from 1over + blowen to blow

Seen and Heard

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


a brief usually trivial fact

Get Word of the Day daily email!