overflow

verb
over·​flow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈflō How to pronounce overflow (audio) \
overflowed; overflowing; overflows

Definition of overflow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover with or as if with water : inundate
2 : to flow over the brim of
3 : to cause to overflow

intransitive verb

1 : to flow over bounds
2 : to fill a space to capacity and spread beyond its limits the crowd overflowed into the street

overflow

noun
over·​flow | \ ˈō-vər-ˌflō How to pronounce overflow (audio) \

Definition of overflow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a flowing over : inundation
2 : something that flows over : surplus
3 : an outlet or receptacle for surplus liquid

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Synonyms & Antonyms for overflow

Synonyms: Verb

overfill

Synonyms: Noun

alluvion, bath, cataclysm, cataract, deluge, flood, flood tide, inundation, Niagara, spate, torrent

Antonyms: Noun

drought (also drouth)

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Examples of overflow in a Sentence

Verb

The river overflowed its banks. The creek overflows every spring. The water in the tub overflowed. Books and papers overflowed his desk. The paragraph overflowed the page.

Noun

a great overflow of water from the heavy rains swept mud and silt down onto the highway an overflow of help actually made the job more complicated
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

O’Rourke is polling within a few points of Cruz on average, and the pages and websites of every major political publication in the country have been overflowing with stories about the young (and handsome) Democratic candidate. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Somebody posing as Beto O’Rourke’s campaign sent texts proposing voter fraud," 6 Sep. 2018 Vatrano will also be part of a deep forward group that is overflowing with skaters. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Panthers sign RFA forward Frank Vatrano to one-year contract," 29 June 2018 The personalities For a series that's overflowing with star power, the personalities in these Finals may be even greater. Aj Neuharth-keusch, USA TODAY, "Warriors-Cavaliers, Part IV: Five things to know before NBA Finals," 30 May 2018 This year has been overflowing with love, light and blessings. Mark Shanahan, BostonGlobe.com, "Ricki Lander’s baby has an unusual name," 16 May 2018 This year has been overflowing with love, light and blessings. Kathy Ehrich Dowd, PEOPLE.com, "Robert Kraft's Girlfriend Shares First Photo of Baby Daughter He Supports But Didn't Father," 15 May 2018 The streets themselves were full of rot and manure, overflowing with the slop from tanneries and factories; what sewers did exist were emptied into the Thames, which became thick with human waste. Laurie Penny, Longreads, "The Great Stink," 15 Feb. 2018 Films interested in qualifying for next March’s Academy Awards must receive at least a token theatrical release before the end of 2017—meaning that this December is, per tradition, going to be absolutely overflowing with A-list projects. Nick Schager, Esquire, "14 Movies Worth the Haul to the Multiplex in December 2017," 21 Nov. 2017 The illustrious Yu Garden in the middle of the city is overflowing with history: It was commissioned in 1559, built over the course of 19 years, destroyed in 1842 during the first Opium War, and later rebuilt and reopened to the public in 1961. Maura Kutner Walters, Town & Country, "The 10 Things Every First-Time Visitor Must Do in Shanghai," 3 Oct. 2014

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Video and audio will be streamed into an overflow room. Amy Forliti, The Seattle Times, "Judge restricts access to evidence in police shooting case," 29 Mar. 2019 There are plans to dredge another port on England’s South coast to help handle overflow traffic. Max Colchester, WSJ, "On Both Sides of the English Channel, Authorities Brace for ‘No Deal’ Brexit Customs Snarls," 31 Dec. 2018 The overflows are the result of cracks and breaks in the aged sewer system, and of its century-old design. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Weekend rain washes 10 million gallons of sewage-contaminated water into Baltimore's Jones Falls," 30 May 2018 But the program — designed to serve the overflow at VA facilities both of aging Vietnam-era veterans and younger service members returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — is fragmented and unwieldy. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "Congress sends massive veterans bill to Trump, opening door to more private health care," 24 May 2018 An argument preceded gunfire after attendees of the 6 p.m. event at the Perry Learning Center's performing arts venue in Clayton County, Georgia, exited to an overflow campus parking lot, school police chief Thomas Trawick Jr. told reporters. NBC News, "2 Shot, 1 dead outside Georgia high school," 19 May 2018 The drama of those origins—the smallish overflow that became so mighty a force—is enormous, and the film’s writers make the most of it. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘America’s Mississippi’ Review: Overflowing With Life," 29 Nov. 2018 The cups should always fit smoothly across the breasts without gaping, overflow, or digging into the tissue. Glamour, "6 Tips for Bra Shopping When You Have Big Boobs," 3 Apr. 2019 The attacker then triggers the overflow by sending a standard advertising packet with one subtle change—a specific bit in the header is turned on instead of off. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bluetooth bugs bite millions of Wi-Fi APs from Cisco, Meraki, and Aruba," 1 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overflow.' 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 overflow

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for overflow

Last Updated

4 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overflow

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

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More Definitions for overflow

overflow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of overflow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to flow over the edge or top of (something)
: to fill or cover (something) completely
: to be completely filled with something : to be so filled that there is not enough room for anything or anyone more

overflow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of overflow (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of flowing over the edge or top of something
: the amount of something that flows over the edge or top of something else
: the number of people or things that goes over a limit

overflow

verb
over·​flow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈflō How to pronounce overflow (audio) \
overflowed; overflowing

Kids Definition of overflow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to flow over the top of The river overflowed its banks.
2 : to flow over bounds The creek overflows every spring.
3 : to fill or become filled beyond capacity The basket was overflowing with candy.
4 : to fill a space up and spread beyond its limits The crowd overflowed into the street.

overflow

noun
over·​flow | \ ˈō-vər-ˌflō How to pronounce overflow (audio) \

Kids Definition of overflow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a flowing over Dams couldn't stop the overflow.
2 : something that flows over or fills a space and spreads beyond its limits Police tried to control the overflow of traffic.

overflow

noun
over·​flow | \ ˈō-vər-ˌflō How to pronounce overflow (audio) \

Medical Definition of overflow

: an excessive flow or amount

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More from Merriam-Webster on overflow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overflow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overflow

Spanish Central: Translation of overflow

Nglish: Translation of overflow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overflow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overflow

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