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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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

Every year the Border Patrol saves hundreds of people who are overcome by the elements between our ports of entry. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Migrant girl dies in Border Patrol’s custody," 15 Dec. 2018 Last week Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum overcame a huge polling deficit to win the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida. Allysia Finley, WSJ, "A Democratic Reformer Tries to Hang On in New England," 7 Sep. 2018 Ten consecutive Post Oak batters reached base before Pearland East collected its first out, enabling the team to easily overcome a 3-1 deficit. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland East all-stars succumb to Post Oak’s big fifth inning," 9 July 2018 In 2016, the pair won Cleveland its lone NBA championship by overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to beat the Warriors, who Walton was an assistant coach for at the time. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Tyronn Lue Will Meet With Luke Walton and Brian Shaw to Discuss Coaching LeBron James," 8 July 2018 Unlike Thursday night when Washington overcame a 9-0 deficit for a 14-12 win, big hits were harder to come by as the teams stranded 17 baserunners. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Reynolds 9th-inning HR walks off Nationals against Barraclough, Marlins," 6 July 2018 That 3-2 victory over Japan was the first time a team has overcome a two-goal deficit to win outright since West Germany beat England in 1970, and the first to do it in regulation since Portugal came from three down to beat North Korea in 1966. Pan Pylas, chicagotribune.com, "Brazil and Belgium, two high-scoring attacks set for battle in the World Cup," 5 July 2018 That 3-2 victory over Japan was the first time a team has overcome a two-goal deficit to win outright since West Germany beat England in 1970, and the first to do it in regulation since Portugal came from three down to beat North Korea in 1966. Pan Pylas, BostonGlobe.com, "Brazil stands in way of Belgium at World Cup," 4 July 2018 Mater Dei overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half. Eric Sondheimer, latimes.com, "Mater Dei rallies to defeat Sierra Canyon 72-71," 1 July 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

23 Apr 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

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