over·​grow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈgrō How to pronounce overgrow (audio) \
overgrew\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈgrü How to pronounce overgrow (audio) \; overgrown\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈgrōn How to pronounce overgrow (audio) \; overgrowing

Definition of overgrow

transitive verb

1 : to grow over so as to cover with herbage
2 : to grow beyond or rise above : outgrow

intransitive verb

1 : to grow excessively
2 : to become grown over

Other Words from overgrow

overgrowth \ ˈō-​vər-​ˌgrōth How to pronounce overgrow (audio) \ noun

Examples of overgrow in a Sentence

The weeds have overgrown the garden.
Recent Examples on the Web Clostridium difficile, known as C. diff, is a stubborn bacteria that may normally live in the colon, but can overgrow the healthy bacteria to cause symptoms of watery diarrhea, often with fever and cramping. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 18 Aug. 2022 Plants that won't overgrow the container, such as boxwood, croton, Joseph's coat, pineapple verbena and twiggy spikemoss for sun-loving plants, and gnome ivy, golden club moss, Irish or Scottish club moss and miniature ferns for shade-loving plants. Jennifer Nalewicki, Popular Mechanics, 16 Nov. 2020 The team will have to flush the seawater regularly and keep it at the right temperature, or bacteria and algae will start to overgrow the Trichoplax and kill them, Prakash says. Emily Underwood, The Atlantic, 8 June 2020 At George Wright, terrible irrigation ruined several holes, and trees overgrew much of the property. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 3 July 2018 Barnacles and other sea life has overgrown the metal. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, 20 Mar. 2018 This corner was previously overgrown and generally uninviting. OregonLive.com, 19 July 2017 First, to be clear: Candida can overgrow in the body and cause problems. Melinda Wenner Moyer, SELF, 10 July 2017 Industry needed photographs for promotion, but post-Civil War industrialization so clearly made America an important power that people treasured stereographs of fields overgrown by technical apparatus. Vicki Goldberg, New York Times, 6 July 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overgrow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of overgrow

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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The first known use of overgrow was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overgrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overgrow. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for overgrow


intransitive verb
over·​grow | \ ˌō-vər-ˈgrō How to pronounce overgrow (audio) \
overgrew\ -​ˈgrü How to pronounce overgrow (audio) \; overgrown\ -​ˈgrōn How to pronounce overgrow (audio) \; overgrowing

Medical Definition of overgrow

: to grow or increase beyond the normal or natural size or numbers when a scar overgrows into a keloid— Morris Fishbein

More from Merriam-Webster on overgrow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overgrow


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