overcome

verb
over·​come | \ ˌō-vər-ˈkəm How to pronounce overcome (audio) \
overcame\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈkām How to pronounce overcame (audio) \; overcome; overcoming

Definition of overcome

transitive verb

1 : to get the better of : surmount overcome difficulties They overcame the enemy.
2 : overwhelm were overcome by the heat and smoke

intransitive verb

: to gain the superiority : win strong in the faith that truth would overcome

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Other Words from overcome

overcomer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for overcome

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of. Caesar conquered Gaul vanquish implies a complete overpowering. vanquished the enemy and ended the war defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals. the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas subdue implies a defeating and suppression. subdued the native tribes after years of fighting reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender. the city was reduced after a month-long siege overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle. overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power. violently overthrew the old regime

Examples of overcome in a Sentence

After a tough battle, they overcame the enemy. a story about overcoming adversity She overcame a leg injury and is back running again.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For computational systems to better overcome the challenges of ambiguous language, NLP researchers will need to arm them with the same kinds of contextual thinking that young Sebastian is developing. Ben Zimmer, The Atlantic, "How Computers Parse the Ambiguity of Everyday Language," 27 June 2018 Attendees find out how to overcome challenges to Irish research and learn that many records are online. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Carlsbad Foundation gives 90K to fight homelessness," 25 June 2018 Caleb was born prematurely and has cerebral palsy, and Norton’s new mobility lab was set up to help kids like him overcome mobility challenges. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Kids make strides using new technology at Norton Healthcare," 7 June 2018 Schellberg believes India can learn from other middle-income countries that have overcome this challenge with handling case loads, such as South Africa. Huizhong Wu, CNN, "Sexual violence victims can wait years for India's overtaxed crime labs," 6 June 2018 To compensate, the pancreas creates even more insulin to try to overcome the resistance. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "What's the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?," 10 Sep. 2018 To a largely illiterate society trying to overcome feudalism, these posters again give us insight into how the new Soviet government wanted to emphasize progress. Anne Tschida, miamiherald, "The Power of Propaganda," 22 June 2018 Get together monthly to discuss ways to overcome challenges. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "How One Woman Is Using Art to Give a Voice to Those With Disabilities," 4 Dec. 2018 Pelosi has been working methodically to overcome dissatisfaction among some representatives with the lack of youth and diversity on the party’s leadership team. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Black Friday shoppers chose their screens over brick-and-mortar stores," 26 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overcome.' 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 overcome

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for overcome

Middle English, from Old English ofercuman, from ofer over + cuman to come

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Statistics for overcome

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overcome

The first known use of overcome was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for overcome

overcome

verb

English Language Learners Definition of overcome

: to defeat (someone or something)
: to successfully deal with or gain control of (something difficult)
: to affect (someone) very strongly or severely

overcome

verb
over·​come | \ ˌō-vər-ˈkəm How to pronounce overcome (audio) \
overcame\ -​ˈkām \; overcome; overcoming

Kids Definition of overcome

1 : to win a victory over : conquer Soldiers overcame the enemy.
2 : to gain control of through great effort He overcame his fear of heights.
3 : to cause to lose physical ability or emotional control Firefighters were overcome by smoke. The family was overcome by grief.

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More from Merriam-Webster on overcome

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overcome

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overcome

Spanish Central: Translation of overcome

Nglish: Translation of overcome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overcome for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overcome

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