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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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 Residence hall capacity will be reduced, as the university eliminates three and four-person rooms and overflow housing. Emily Bamforth, cleveland, "Dining halls, sorority and fraternity events will be available when Kent State’s campus reopens," 7 July 2020 Latrines overflow, sewage leaks into tents, and wild dogs prowl the perimeter for food. Louisa Loveluck, Washington Post, "In Syrian camp for women and children who left ISIS caliphate, a struggle even to register names," 28 June 2020 Its extended side height helps contain voluminous veggies — like kale — that would otherwise overflow before wilted down by heat. Kate Bratskeir, CNN Underscored, "The best nonstick pans of 2020," 23 June 2020 Trump told reporters in Washington the convention hall near the BOK Center would be used for overflow and hold another 40,000 people. USA TODAY, "Florida, Texas and Arizona are among the 22 states reporting a rise in coronavirus cases. Oklahoma is on the list.," 17 June 2020 As the waters rose, the nearly century-old Edenville dam collapsed and sent a torrent downstream that overflowed the Sanford dam. Riley D. Champine, National Geographic, "The problem America has neglected for too long: deteriorating dams," 27 May 2020 Procter & Gamble on Friday reported its U.S. sales during the first three months of the year as Americans overflowed their shopping carts with toilet paper, paper towels and other household staples sold by the consumer-products company. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Procter & Gamble reports sales bounty from pandemic hoarding," 17 Apr. 2020 Madrid took over a public skating rink Tuesday after the city morgue overflowed. BostonGlobe.com, "Modi orders 3-week total lock-down for all 1.3 billion Indians," 24 Mar. 2020 The zoning board booked the concert hall, a first for a Carmel government meeting, after about 400 homeowners overflowed a zoning meeting Jan. 22 to discuss the issue. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Opponents file court challenge appealing Carmel's decision to approve Islamic Life Center," 9 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Heated tents have been set up in parking lots outside hospitals to handle the overflow of patients. Fox News, "In South Africa, coronavirus surges as oxygen supplies run low in epicenter," 11 July 2020 Fort Bend County hospitals are at pre-surge levels currently, but county officials have started planning for a hospital overflow location. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Officials warn ICU bed shortages could create crisis for Fort Bend County hospitals," 10 July 2020 The rally will reportedly take place inside a hangar there, according to CNN, and there will be space for overflow. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Tulsa City Health Official Says Trump Rally 'Likely Contributed' to Surge of New Coronavirus Cases," 9 July 2020 The field hospital built at a cost of more than $15 million in West Allis to handle a potential overflow of COVID-19 patients was always likened to an insurance policy. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Field hospital in West Allis, costing more than $15 million, unneeded so far but still seen as a wise precaution," 8 July 2020 According to Beach, letting that river overflow or that mountain erupt with magma every-now-and-then struck them as an obvious avenue for improvement. Steven T. Wright, Ars Technica, "From Zelda to Civ to Frostpunk—can climate change be fun?," 5 June 2020 Some of the overflow has been attributed to an unusually high number of hospital admissions linked to cross-border traffic from Mexicali. Kristi Sturgill, Los Angeles Times, "Its two hospitals overrun, Imperial County halts in-store retail and indoor religious services," 2 July 2020 If needed, officials say empty beds in regular hospital rooms can be converted to help with the overflow. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Fort Bend County reports record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases," 26 June 2020 And a second speech to the overflow group was scrapped. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Trump’s Tulsa flop is a boost for Biden," 22 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for overflow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overflow

Last Updated

20 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overflow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overflow. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for overflow

overflow

verb
How to pronounce overflow (audio)

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
How to pronounce overflow (audio)

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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Comments on overflow

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