overflow

verb
over·​flow | \ˌō-vər-ˈflō \
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 \

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

deluge, drown, engulf, flood, gulf, inundate, overwhelm, submerge, submerse, swamp

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Verb

drain

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

All these young women are just pouring into the grocery store because the Metro was overflowing there. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates explains how Donald Trump is trying to corrupt the Justice Department," 12 Nov. 2018 One reason that’s the case is that the conversation overflowed across both mainstream and social media. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 The modifications started a few months ago with simple save file edits that let players overflow the game's coin counter or unlock all the game's costumes, including some costumes that have yet to be officially released. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Modders revamp Super Mario Odyssey on hacked Switch hardware," 13 July 2018 No team can use injuries as an excuse because sickbay is overflowing everywhere. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, "Giants not only NL West team banged up; suddenly, division’s up for grabs," 8 May 2018 Attorneys for the government, meanwhile, said the program was meant as a temporary fix for overflowing emergency shelters. Gal Tziperman Lotan, OrlandoSentinel.com, "No decision yet on aid deadline for Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria," 2 July 2018 That hater bandwagon filled to overflowing when the Warriors signed Kevin Durant two years ago, making Golden State an instant super team, resented by many. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Light years? Warriors blast into new realm with DeMarcus Cousins," 2 July 2018 With police stations and juvenile facilities overflowing in Cadiz, Spain's southernmost province, authorities are setting up makeshift housing in sports facilities, rented hostels or even ferry terminals. Aritz Parra, Fox News, "Spain feels the heat as migrants shift route into Europe," 29 June 2018 Sewage problems concern regulators The sheer volume of sewer overflows in Johnson Utilities' territory also is a major concern for regulators. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Water taps dry, sewers overflow as Johnson Utilities owner faces bribery trial," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, an overflow crowd gathered Monday evening to remember journalist Rob Hiaasen. CBS News, "Capital Gazette shooting suspect Jarrod Ramos vowed to kill "every person present": Report," 3 July 2018 Hours later, an overflow crowd gathered to remember journalist Rob Hiaasen and his four colleagues who were shot to death by a gunman who blasted his way into the Capital Gazette’s newsroom. David Mcfadden, BostonGlobe.com, "Newspaper shooter sent ‘kill’ letter before attack, police say," 3 July 2018 An overflow crowd showed up for recent seminar on landscaping, Massat said. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Naperville gardeners and ballplayers looking for Mother Nature to turn up the heat," 19 Apr. 2018 The projected overflow crowd won’t count in terms of official attendance, however, which is based on tickets sold. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, "A’s free promotion highlights team’s ongoing struggle to draw fans," 15 Apr. 2018 Attorneys from across the country filled every corner of Polster's courtroom at the federal courthouse in downtown Cleveland, with others either in an overflow room watching a video feed or listening on the phone. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Federal judge urges quick settlement in lawsuits against opioid makers as American death toll mounts," 9 Jan. 2018 MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer said the overflows of untreated wastewater were done as an emergency measure to prevent sewage backups into residential and commercial businesses. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Severe storms knock out power, flood roads; house struck by lightning in Greendale," 18 June 2018 The home’s steep roof allows for a third-floor loft, used for overflow. Marni Elyse Katz, BostonGlobe.com, "Sisters build a relaxed summer retreat in coastal Maine," 15 June 2018 Scientists also noted a small overflow of the south crater rim at around midnight Saturday. Washington Post, "Kilauea’s summit lava lake still overflowing into crater," 25 Apr. 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

16 Nov 2018

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 \
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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of overflow 

: an excessive flow or amount

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Comments on overflow

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