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90s Slang You Should Know


[oh-ver-aw] /ˌoʊ vərˈɔ/
verb (used with object), overawed, overawing.
to restrain or subdue by inspiring awe; intimidate:
He often uses that imperious scowl to overawe his subordinates.
Origin of overawe
First recorded in 1570-80; over- + awe Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overawe
Historical Examples
  • Being a violent-tempered old man, he attempted by bluster to overawe the boy into surrendering his authority.

    Admiral Farragut A. T. Mahan
  • Not a single soldier is to be found in our domain to overawe or protect society.

    Robert Toombs Pleasant A. Stovall
  • She sent forth hordes to mob printing-presses, overawe the ballot-box, substitute the bowie-knife and revolver for the civil law.

    The Secret Service. Albert D. Richardson
  • He wanted to overawe Dick; but somehow Dick wouldn't be overawed.

    Fame and Fortune Horatio Alger, Jr.
  • A detachment of European troops is generally stationed here to overawe the fanatical Moplahs.

  • Alva built a —— in the heart of Antwerp to overawe the city.

    English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald
  • And had he begun to build his castles to stun and overawe the rabbles that pass his door?

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • Also they have brought in a number of hard citizens—what are known as 'gunmen'—to overawe us.

    Desert Conquest A. M. Chisholm
  • His enemies knew that if he were once allowed to get a hearing, his authority might even yet overawe the waverers.

  • The demon assumed every shape of horror to overawe the enemies of his freedom.

    The Weird Orient Henry Iliowizi
British Dictionary definitions for overawe


(transitive) to subdue, restrain, or overcome by affecting with a feeling of awe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for overawe

1570s, from over- + awe (v.). Perhaps coined by Spenser. Related: Overawed; overawing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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