over·​top | \ ˌō-vər-ˈtäp How to pronounce overtop (audio) \
overtopped; overtopping; overtops

Definition of overtop

transitive verb

1 : to rise above the top of
2 : to be superior to
3 : surpass

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Examples of overtop in a Sentence

a manager whose arrogance was overtopped only by his ineptitude

Recent Examples on the Web

Like many waterways in the Midwest, increased snowmelt and rain in March caused the Missouri River to overtop the levee systems that protected small towns and farmland nestled along its snake-like channel. NBC News, "Flooded out, farmers find work rebuilding the levees that failed them," 19 Aug. 2019 The ocean regularly overtops dunes and washes out much of Highway 12 — the only road linking Hatteras Island and the rest of Dare County. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Hurricane Dorian rips through Outer Banks, causing tsunami-like surge as it heads out to sea," 6 Sep. 2019 Crews witnessed overtopping along the back levee system that protects the Myrtle Grove and Pointe Celeste early Saturday, local security director Patrick Harvey said. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "Barry makes landfall in Louisiana and weakens to tropical storm - live updates," 13 July 2019 During Katrina, the Mississippi jumped 12 ft. in New Orleans, but because the river started low, no levees overtopped. Boyce Upholt, Time, "The Mississippi River Is Under Control—For Now," 9 May 2019 Water was overtopping a back levee in Plaquemines Parish, south of New Orleans, on Saturday morning, according to the parish’s emergency preparedness office. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "Louisiana braces for heavy rain and winds as Barry encroaches on Gulf Coast," 13 July 2019 The city's levees are not expected to be overtopped, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers. Oliver Darcy, CNN, "News outlets prep for Tropical Storm Barry," 12 July 2019 In rural Terrebonne Parish, a small levee that overtopped prompted officials there to order a mandatory evacuation for about 330 residents in the parish’s lowest reaches on Saturday afternoon. Richard Fausset, New York Times, "Hurricane Barry Spares New Orleans (So Far), as Inland Cities Brace for Floods," 13 July 2019 The river had been expected to crest at the same height as the lowest parts of the levees, raising concerns of overtopping levees or water splashing over the levees. Washington Post, "New Orleans fears triple threat of storm surge, river, rain," 12 July 2019

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

circa 1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for overtop

Last Updated

29 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for overtop

The first known use of overtop was circa 1594

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a bell tower

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