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

My body has endured loss, my body has given me four healthy children, my body has struggled with anxiety and depression, my body has overcome. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "5 Women Prove That Every Body Is Sexy in Empowering Photo Series," 13 Sep. 2019 With that in mind, Filicia first set out to overcome one paramount design challenge: addressing the apartment’s long, narrow floor plan. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Thom Filicia's Latest New York Project is the Perfect Union of Classic and Modern Design," 13 Sep. 2019 Our participants overcame the initial emotions and then started to enjoy the digital-free experience. Brad Mckenna, Quartzy, "The terrifying, liberating experience of traveling without your smartphone," 15 Aug. 2019 Ridding oneself of guilt is often easier than overcoming shame, in part because our society offers many ways to expiate guilt-inducing offenses, including apologizing, paying fines, and serving jail time. Annette Kämmerer, Scientific American, "The Scientific Underpinnings and Impacts of Shame," 9 Aug. 2019 Joe discovered acting after taking a speech class in high school to overcome his shy habits. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Here’s How "Stranger Things" Star Joe Chrest Brought Ted Wheeler To Life," 5 Aug. 2019 Breeders can overcome this problem by artificially inseminating queens. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Breeders toughen up bees to resist deadly mites," 25 July 2019 To overcome these obstacles, Brown and Sandholm created an algorithm engineered to predict opponents’ next two or three moves rather than gauge their steps through the end of the game. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "This Poker-Playing A.I. Knows When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em," 16 July 2019 Africa has tried valiantly for decades to overcome the substantial challenges hindering the development of robust intra-regional trade. Danny Bradlow, Quartz Africa, "After the free trade agreement, we need to focus on realizing the African Monetary Fund," 6 July 2019

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

14 Oct 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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