Synonyms & Antonyms of overcome

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to achieve a victory over
  • the baseball team finally overcame their opponents in the 13th inning

Synonyms for overcome

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Antonyms for overcome

2 to subject to incapacitating emotional or mental stress
  • already under stress, she was overcome by news of a death in the family

Synonyms for overcome

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Synonyms & Antonyms of overcome (Entry 2 of 2)

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Frequently Asked Questions About overcome

How does the verb overcome differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of overcome are conquer, defeat, overthrow, reduce, subdue, and vanquish. While all these words mean "to get the better of by force or strategy," overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle.

overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks

When could conquer be used to replace overcome?

While the synonyms conquer and overcome are close in meaning, conquer implies gaining mastery of.

Caesar conquered Gaul

How are the words defeat and vanquish related as synonyms of overcome?

Defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals.

the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas

When might overthrow be a better fit than overcome?

Although the words overthrow and overcome have much in common, overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power.

violently overthrew the old regime

When is it sensible to use reduce instead of overcome?

While in some cases nearly identical to overcome, reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender.

the city was reduced after a month-long siege

When can subdue be used instead of overcome?

The synonyms subdue and overcome are sometimes interchangeable, but subdue implies a defeating and suppression.

subdued the native tribes after years of fighting

When would vanquish be a good substitute for overcome?

The words vanquish and overcome can be used in similar contexts, but vanquish implies a complete overpowering.

vanquished the enemy and ended the war

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Time Traveler for overcome

Time Traveler

The first known use of overcome was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Overcome.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on overcome

Dictionary: Definition of overcome

Nglish: Translation of overcome for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overcome for Arabic Speakers

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