over·​pow·​er | \ ˌō-vər-ˈpau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce overpower (audio) \
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

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Other Words from overpower

overpoweringly \ ˌō-​vər-​ˈpau̇(-​ə)r-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce overpoweringly (audio) \ 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Where the discrete mathematics of things said overpower the continuous mathematics of lives lived? Jason Kehe, Wired, "The Media Monsters in the National Dialog," 8 July 2020 And the structure of the show’s acts, punctuated by ad breaks, means that the good guys unfailingly capture and overpower the bad guys in a matter of minutes. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Unreality of Cops," 13 June 2020 In the early days of the outbreak, López Obrador refused to implement sweeping lockdown measures in Mexico and claimed that his rivals would see him in self-isolation as a time to overpower him politically and take control of the government. Fox News, "Mexico City's coronavirus cases spike, as concerns grow over jam-packed city," 8 May 2020 The film cuts back to 13 years earlier, when the young Jahkor (Jalyn Emil Hall) gets a brutal beating from J.D. for being soft enough to let another kid overpower him and steal his toy. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'All Day and a Night': Film Review," 30 Apr. 2020 Seals and his partner were attacked by the suspect before overpowering him and wrestling him to the ground. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Officer Killed in Jersey Shooting Identified as Father of 5, Who Worked to End Gun Violence," 11 Dec. 2019 The owners of four brick-and-mortar stores, who choose their furnishings and accessories deliberately, are careful to accentuate their interiors, not overpower them. Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times, "How the ‘ugliest home on the block’ became a minimalist refuge for Poketo’s Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung," 23 Oct. 2019 The two had used a medical emergency to get the guards to pull over to the side of the road, and then overpowered them and threw them in the back of the van, Gonzales said last month. Chris Boyette, CNN, "Fugitive couple facing murder charges may be getting help from white supremacists, authorities say," 10 Sep. 2019 With states like Florida, Texas, California and more that have already begun to reopen against the advice of experts and scientists, Wisconsin's decision may set a precedent for other states looking to overpower Governor's orders. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "Wisconsin Supreme Court Overturned State Stay At Home Order. Here’s What That Means For Other States.," 14 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of overpower

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for overpower

Time Traveler

The first known use of overpower was in 1597

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Statistics for overpower

Last Updated

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overpower.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overpower. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for overpower


How to pronounce overpower (audio)

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 How to pronounce overpower (audio) \
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.

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