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

  • adj. Domineering in manner; arrogant: an overbearing person. See Synonyms at dictatorial.
  • adj. Overwhelming in power or significance; predominant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Overly bossy, domineering, or arrogant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Overpowering; subduing; repressing.
  • adj. Aggressively haughty; arrogant; domineering; tyrannical; dictatorial; insolent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Bearing down; repressing; overwhelming.
  • Haughty and dictatorial; disposed or tending to repress or subdue in an imperious or insolent manner: as, an overbearing disposition or manner.
  • Synonyms Domineering, lordly, arrogant.

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

  • adj. expecting unquestioning obedience
  • adj. having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Perry, who caused a stir in 2009 when he openly pondered his state's secession from the United States, was sharply critical of what he called an overbearing federal government.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • However, call her overbearing and annoying, her “Ghetto” origins or lack thereof dont appear to have any bearing.

    Jeff Probst blogs 'Survivor: Samoa': episode 3 |

  • She was also known as the overbearing mother Ida Morgenstern on the 1970s comedy series Rhoda, Nancy Walker was an established stage performer for decades before making it in television.

    Five People Born on May 10 | myFiveBest

  • "I've learned over the years to temper that emotion, that inclination to be what some people would call overbearing," Ferris said this week.

    The Roanoke Times: Home page

  • At a pre-trial hearing for Khadr last month, Hartmann was described as overbearing and tactless and alleged to have overstepped his role as legal adviser to become the "de facto chief prosecutor." Headlines

  • The fact is that if your parents root for a certain team and "encourage" their children to root for that team -- and that is either sentimentally awesome or the worst kind of overbearing -- chances are the kid is going to turn out to be a fan of that team.

    Dan Shanoff: Introducing My Son to MLB, Wrigley Field and His Fan DNA

  • He has also labeled the scene — where de Kooning, Rothko, or Barnett Newman, increasingly considered world-class masters, might rub shoulders at an exhibition opening with emerging Pop artists, Minimalists, or makers of happenings and earthworks — "overbearing," "brutally pragmatic," and "savagely competitive."

    An Eye on the Tremors

  • He was sort of arrogant and kind of overbearing, and he had his own problems and his own issues.

    CNN Transcript Nov 7, 2009

  • To support his argument, Wallis includes first-person accounts by the artists themselves, who reveal the kind of overbearing oversight that rendered their renderings unacceptable.

    Bruce Kluger: Shoot the Cartoonist!

  • Hillary may have been fighting the good fight — questions persist about the legitimacy of Hammerschmidt's win — but Addington says Hillary's "overbearing" approach was too "by the book" for a laid-back Arkansas political campaign: "In Arkansas, you don't go and challenge the legality of the county courthouse counting the vote."

    How They Have Lost


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  • Oh, the monster overbearing!

    Don't go near him, he is swearing!

    -- Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, by W.S. Gilbert

    August 20, 2008