from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To defeat (another) in competition or conflict; conquer. See Synonyms at defeat.
  • transitive v. To prevail over; surmount: tried to overcome the obstacles of poverty.
  • transitive v. To overpower, as with emotion; affect deeply.
  • intransitive v. To surmount opposition; be victorious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To surmount (a physical or abstract obstacle); to prevail over, to get the better of.
  • v. To win (a battle).
  • v. To win or prevail in some sort of battle, contest, etc.
  • v. To overwhelm with emotion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To gain the superiority; to be victorious.
  • transitive v. To get the better of; to surmount; to conquer; to subdue.
  • transitive v. To overflow; to surcharge.
  • transitive v. To come or pass over; to spread over.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To come over; move or pass over or throughout.
  • To reach or extend over or throughout; spread over; cover; overflow; surcharge.
  • To overtake.
  • To overwhelm; oppress; overpower; surmount; conquer; vanquish; subdue.
  • To get beyond; outstrip; excel.
  • Synonyms Vanquish, Subdue, etc. See conquer.
  • To gain the superiority; be victorious; conquer.
  • Overpowered by liquor; intoxicated: in the past participle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
  • v. overcome, usually through no fault or weakness of the person that is overcome
  • v. win a victory over
  • v. get on top of; deal with successfully


From Middle English overcomen, from Old English ofercuman ("to overcome, subdue, compel, conquer, obtain, attain, reach, overtake"), corresponding to over- +‎ come. Cognate with Dutch overkomen ("to overcome"), German überkommen ("to overcome"), Danish overkomme ("to overcome"), Swedish överkomma ("to overcome"). (Wiktionary)


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