over·​pow·​er | \ ˌō-vər-ˈpau̇(-ə)r \
overpowered; overpowering; overpowers

Definition of overpower

transitive verb

1 : to overcome by superior force : subdue
2 : to affect with overwhelming intensity the stench overpowered us
3 : to provide with more power than is needed or desirable a dangerously overpowered car

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from overpower

overpoweringly \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈpau̇(-​ə)r-​iŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of overpower in a Sentence

She was able to overpower her attacker. The police overpowered the man and handcuffed him. The troops were overpowered by the stronger enemy forces. His personality overpowers everyone else's. The delicate taste of the wine was overpowered by the spiciness of the food.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Its 41-mm diameter is perfectly sized for anyone who wants a smartwatch that doesn’t overpower your arm or weigh you down as the day goes on. David Lazarus, The Seattle Times, "8 great smartwatch picks (that aren’t Apple)," 7 Jan. 2019 The cauliflower worked perfectly in the smoothie because its mild flavor was easily overpowered by the mango and the orange juice. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make a Smoothie Without a Recipe," 2 Jan. 2019 Fender said that when a teacher carries a weapon into school, that weapon is available to anyone who can overpower the teacher. Bob Sandrick, cleveland.com, "Strongsville schools lay out security plans, will not arm teachers," 27 Mar. 2018 Add powdered supplements to already delicious liquids that will overpower any, ahem, organic musk. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "What Is Collagen, the "Beauty Food" You're Seeing in Everything?," 23 Feb. 2018 Newsletter Sign-up But having a pitcher who could overpower a lineup for four innings, whatever his formal title—starter, reliever, opener or closer—still gave the Yankees an asset that Oakland lacked. Brian Costa, WSJ, "The Yankees Prove the Best Opener Is Still a Dominant Starter," 4 Oct. 2018 The big question for Republicans this fall is whether unhappiness with Malloy will overpower deep dislike for Trump among voters in the liberal state. Lisa Lerer, The Seattle Times, "What to Watch: Minn.,Wis. primaries test allegiance to Trump," 13 Aug. 2018 Three weeks ago, inmates overpowered a guard, holding him hostage and taking control of part of a dorm for about 90 minutes. German Lopez, Vox, "America’s prisoners are going on strike in at least 17 states," 17 Aug. 2018 In 2013 a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin successfully led astray an $80 million yacht in the Mediterranean, overpowering its GPS receivers and sending it onto a new course. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of overpower

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overpower

Statistics for overpower

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overpower

The first known use of overpower was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overpower



English Language Learners Definition of overpower

: to defeat or gain control of (someone or something) by using force

: to affect (someone) very strongly or severely

: to have more strength, force, or effect than (someone or something)


over·​pow·​er | \ ˌō-vər-ˈpau̇-ər \
overpowered; overpowering

Kids Definition of overpower

1 : to overcome by greater force : defeat The enemy was overpowered.
2 : to affect by being too strong The odor overpowered us.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on overpower

What made you want to look up overpower? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!