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

  • n. A person having authority over others, especially an overseer or a shift supervisor.
  • n. See superman.
  • transitive v. To provide with more personnel than necessary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who supervises others; a supervisor
  • n. A person with great powers; a superman
  • v. to provide with too many personnel

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One in authority over others; a chief; usually, an overseer or boss.
  • n. An arbiter.
  • n. In the philosophy of Nietzsche, a man of superior physique and powers capable of dominating others; one fitted to survive in an egoistic struggle for the mastery.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To employ too many men on or in, as on a ship.
  • n. In coal-mining, the person having charge of the work below ground.
  • n. In general, an overseer, or foreman.
  • n. An arbitrator, or umpire.
  • n. In the writings of F. W. Nietzsche, a type with more or less superhuman qualities toward which he supposed mankind to be developing.


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

N., sense 2, translation of German Übermensch : über, over, higher + Mensch, man.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A calque of German Übermensch. Compare superman.


  • The father was faithful and grateful: the son knows no law but his own humor; detests the ugly dwarf who has nursed him; chafes furiously under his claims for some return for his tender care; and is, in short, a totally unmoral person, a born anarchist, the ideal of Bakoonin, an anticipation of the "overman" of

    The Perfect Wagnerite, Commentary on the Ring

  • He created the concept of "overman," the man stronger than others with the right to step over the weak, which attracted Hitler.

    Latest Articles

  • He often summons the image of a bridge, as he does here in his perhaps most definitive passage about the Overman: There it was too that I picked up the word "overman" by the way, and that man is something that must be overcome-that man is a bridge and no end: proclaiming himself blessed in view of his noon and evening, as the way to new dawns-Zarathustra's word of the great noon, and whatever else I hung up over man like the last crimson light of evening.

    The 'Superman' in Sri Aurobindo & Nietzsche

  • A creature of idyll and elegy, he's defined by his youth (and loss (like Daphnis)) -- a puer aeternus who can't be a conventional tragic hero in the overman sense because he's not yet reached the age where he * gets* the deontic modalities society would wrap him up in.

    A Theory of Modes and Modalities

  • What we begin to see here is not a simple schema of relative social status — overman, everyman or nobody — but rather a set of protagonist types defineable by the interrelations of the deontic modalities that act upon them and the boulomaic modalities they enact.

    A Theory of Modes and Modalities

  • The protagonist of legend can be seen as, relatively speaking, the overman of high mimetic or everyman of low mimetic, while the protagonists of gothic/horror may be seen as, again relatively speaking, everyman of low mimetic or nobody of ironic.

    A Theory of Modes and Modalities

  • Essentially, his model offers us five types of hero we could label god, demigod, overman, everyman, nobody.

    A Theory of Modes and Modalities

  • This was the dark reign of the overman, in whose speech the great mass of the people were characterized as the "herd animals."


  • Superman was written to counter the Nazi idea of the "superman/overman" from Nietzche.

    How to Make a Superman Movie

  • From internal evidence the narrative was not reduced to writing until the 29th century because, the eponymous editor says, in the "age of the overman" all literacy was stamped out in a time when it was a capital offense "for any man, no matter of what class, to teach even the alphabet to a member of the working-class."

    “. . . in the stiff, dead fingers, the petition of his slaves who toiled in Hell's Bottom.”


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