over·​pass | \ ˌō-vər-ˈpas How to pronounce overpass (audio) \
overpassed; overpassing; overpasses

Definition of overpass

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to pass across, over, or beyond : cross also : surpass


over·​pass | \ ˈō-vər-ˌpas How to pronounce overpass (audio) \

Definition of overpass (Entry 2 of 2)

: a crossing of two highways or of a highway and pedestrian path or railroad at different levels where clearance to traffic on the lower level is obtained by elevating the higher level also : the upper level of such a crossing

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Examples of overpass in a Sentence


to keep peace in the family, he was forced to overpass his in-laws' frequent put-downs a filmmaker whose technical bravura overpasses his ability to tell a coherent story


Boys stood beneath the highway overpass. Traffic was stalled on the overpass.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Clearview Parkway and Cleary Avenue overpasses at I-10 are closed. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "I-10, other New Orleans metro roads, bridges stay closed with another hard freeze ahead," 17 Jan. 2018 The Clearview Parkway and Cleary Avenue overpasses at I-10 are closed. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "I-10, other New Orleans metro roads, bridges stay closed with another hard freeze ahead," 17 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With nowhere else to go, the homeless often set up encampments on sidewalks and beneath highway overpasses. New York Times, "Trump Eyes Crackdown on Homelessness as Aides Visit California," 10 Sep. 2019 That might not make for a good soundbite in an era in which the government is housing immigrants under overpasses and denying toothbrushes and soap to children. Ana Campoy, Quartz, "Democratic candidates are failing to confront the key issue on immigration," 31 July 2019 Dozens of homeless residents living under highway overpasses along Brook Street have been given 21-day notices to vacate their camps — just the latest in a string of camps to be closed. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville is clearing out two more homeless camps along Brook Street," 25 June 2019 The group’s banner in Fort Tryon Park is part of a trend among white-supremacist groups, which began last summer, to hang banners in visible places such as highway overpasses, according to the league. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "White Nationalists Rally in Liberal New York City," 31 July 2018 On the half-hour drive from her Sunnyside home to her Fourth Ward school each morning, Tchanori Kone often sees homeless people gathered near downtown highway overpasses. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "Fifth-grader's speech on homelessness captures top honors at MLK oratory event," 12 Jan. 2018 The Arizona Department of Public Safety shut down the freeway's westbound lanes at 51st Avenue just after 4 a.m. after a report of a police situation involving an individual at the 59th Avenue overpass. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Interstate 10 reopens after rush-hour shutdown in west Phoenix," 20 Aug. 2019 And at the Lawrence Expressway overpass, the lanes widen right up again. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "Moffett Park Drive to permanently close at 101-237: Roadshow," 1 Aug. 2019 Prosecutors say the teens were on the overpass with a fifth teen, Kyle Anger, who threw the rock that smashed into the van's windshield and killed White. Erin Donaghue, CBS News, "Michigan judge rejects juvenile sentencing for teens in highway rock-toss death," 24 July 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1929, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overpass

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overpass

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

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More Definitions for overpass



English Language Learners Definition of overpass

US : a bridge that allows a road or railroad to cross over another


over·​pass | \ ˈō-vər-ˌpas How to pronounce overpass (audio) \

Kids Definition of overpass

1 : a crossing (as of two highways or a highway and a railroad) at different levels usually by means of a bridge
2 : the upper level of an overpass

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Comments on overpass

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