Definitions

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

  • adj. Presumptuously arrogant; overbearing: had a witty but overweening manner about him.
  • adj. Excessive; immoderate: overweening ambition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unduly confident; arrogant; presumptuous; conceited.
  • adj. Exaggerated, excessive.
  • n. An excessively high opinion of oneself or one's abilities; presumption, arrogance.
  • v. Present participle of overween.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Unduly confident; arrogant; presumptuous; conceited.
  • n. Conceit; arrogance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Presumption; arrogance.

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

  • adj. unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings
  • adj. presumptuously arrogant

Etymologies

From overween +‎ -ing. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • His stolid instinctive conservatism grovels before the tyrant rule of routine, despite that turbulent and licentious independence which ever suggests revolt against the ruler: his mental torpidity, founded upon physical indolence, renders immediate action and all manner of exertion distasteful: his conscious weakness shows itself in overweening arrogance and intolerance.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • She had offered him all the sacrifices that he did not want, and she stood before him in overweening confidence that she ran no other risks than those she had foreseen.

    Indiana

  • Another extraordinary characteristic of the book is its combination of supreme humility with what the enemy might describe as overweening arrogance.

    Darkest India A Supplement to General Booth's "In Darkest England, and the Way Out"

  • Are you just some populist slave, some kind of overweening and colicky infant in search of surrogate mamas and papas, role models, and the like?

    Excerpt from Urdoxa 2.0

  • I get to use the word "overweening" for something!

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • They suffered from the ancient Greek disease of hubris, a kind of overweening arrogance.

    The Very Best Men—Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA

  • The ancient Greeks had a word for it: hubris, which might be defined as a kind of overweening pride, one that impelled mere mortals to believe they could act like gods.

    Antiwar.com Original

  • Seventy or so years ago the celebrated diarist James Lees-Milne wrote this: 'It became clear he was a man of overweening egotism.

    Roebuck on Mosley

  • Reading the interview, one is struck, as always, by the overweening vanity of Max's position.

    The vanity of Max Mosley

  • The biggest loser should be the overweening arrogance of liberal privilege.

    Matthew Yglesias » Winners and Losers in the Browniverse

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "...name is suggestive of a past age of psychochemical experimentation -- this fossil cautions against overweening confidence of paleontologists who think they know how ancient animals lived" - Commentary at the website of Natural Resources Canada regarding the story of the strange fossil Hallucigenia.

    June 27, 2010

  • "... who for all his overweening bumptiousness in things scientific can scarcely distinguish an acid from an alkali ..."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 14

    January 22, 2007