overcome

verb
over·​come | \ ˌō-vər-ˈkəm How to pronounce overcome (audio) \
overcame\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈkām How to pronounce overcome (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 The protagonist, nicknamed Fee, is half Korean, and embraces his grandparents’ folk tales in an attempt to overcome the emotional damage. BostonGlobe.com, 23 July 2021 That message has been overtaken by a new narrative: that the Games represent a global effort to overcome the pandemic. New York Times, 22 July 2021 But the governor holds several key advantages that may be difficult for his opponents to overcome in the Sept. 14 special election. Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 July 2021 In a virtual therapy session, Asia told Strini that playing the guitar and listening to music helps overcome these hard feelings. Mireya Villarreal, CBS News, 22 July 2021 To overcome that, these athletes devised hacks for their training that at times got very weird. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 21 July 2021 But whether Facebook can overcome its existential—and perhaps terminal—contradictions is far less certain. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 19 July 2021 The experiment, published Thursday in Science, marks the first time that researchers have overcome a key hurdle in the hunt for achieving one of reproductive medicine’s wilder ideas: in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. Megan Molteni, STAT, 18 July 2021 In Las Vegas, past waves of COVID-19 weren’t enough for Darrius Bouyer to overcome his suspicions about the safety of the vaccines and the intentions of their makers. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2021

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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Learn More About overcome

Time Traveler for overcome

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near overcome

overcoiler

overcome

overcomer

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Statistics for overcome

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overcome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overcome. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on overcome

Nglish: Translation of overcome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overcome for Arabic Speakers

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