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 People were overcome by smoke and toxic fumes and 165 people never made it out. The Enquirer, 28 May 2021 Huang was one of 21 runners who died when they were overcome by dropping temperatures, 32- to 46-mph gusts and battering hail. Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 She was overcome with emotion; members of her family had pledged their lives in defense of our nation. Ravi Chaudhary, CNN, 27 May 2021 Any problem regarding our companion animals can be overcome with love, advice, patience, and adaptability on the part of their human parents. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 27 May 2021 The weight of the experience hits Satterfield, and he is overcome with emotion. Washington Post, 24 May 2021 With training and patience, most mild cases of uncertainty around babies can be overcome. Jennifer Nelson, Southern Living, 22 May 2021 Vaccines are not a complete panacea, and their protection can be overcome. Mark Kortepeter, Forbes, 19 May 2021 The fall of the Berlin Wall created a power vacuum in Germany, and, soon after, the country was overcome by a crime wave. Jeff Maysh, The New Yorker, 18 May 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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Time Traveler for overcome

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overcome

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overcome.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overcome. Accessed 15 Jun. 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.

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