overcome

play
verb over·come \ˌō-vər-ˈkəm\

Definition of overcome

overcame

play \ˌō-vər-ˈkām\;

overcome

;

overcoming

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to get the better of :  surmount overcome difficulties They overcame the enemy.

  3. 2 :  overwhelm were overcome by the heat and smoke

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to gain the superiority :  win strong in the faith that truth would overcome

overcomer

noun

Examples of overcome in a Sentence

  1. After a tough battle, they overcame the enemy.

  2. a story about overcoming adversity

  3. She overcame a leg injury and is back running again.

Recent Examples of overcome from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of overcome

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

OVERCOME Defined for English Language Learners

overcome

play
verb

Definition of overcome for English Language Learners

  • : to defeat (someone or something)

  • : to successfully deal with or gain control of (something difficult)

  • : to affect (someone) very strongly or severely


OVERCOME Defined for Kids

overcome

play
verb over·come \ˌō-vər-ˈkəm\

Definition of overcome for Students

overcame

\-ˈkām\;

overcome

;

overcoming

  1. 1 :  to win a victory over :  conquer Soldiers overcame the enemy.

  2. 2 :  to gain control of through great effort He overcame his fear of heights.

  3. 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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