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overbearing

[oh-ver-bair-ing]
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adjective
  1. domineering; dictatorial; haughtily or rudely arrogant.
  2. of overwhelming or critical importance.
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Origin of overbearing

First recorded in 1590–1600; overbear + -ing2
Related formso·ver·bear·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·bear·ing·ness, noun

overbear

[oh-ver-bair]
verb (used with object), o·ver·bore, o·ver·borne, o·ver·bear·ing.
  1. to bear over or down by weight or force: With his superior strength he easily overbore his opponent in the fight.
  2. to overcome or overwhelm: A spirited defense had overborne the enemy attack.
  3. to prevail over or overrule (wishes, objections, etc.): She overbore all objections to the new plan.
  4. to treat in a domineering way; dominate: to overbear one's children with threats of violence.
  5. Nautical. (of a sailing ship) to have the advantage of (another sailing ship) because of an ability to carry more canvas safely.
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verb (used without object), o·ver·bore, o·ver·borne, o·ver·bear·ing.
  1. to produce fruit or progeny so abundantly as to impair the health.
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Origin of overbear

First recorded in 1525–35; over- + bear1
Related formso·ver·bear·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overbearing

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We never could get along together at all, because he is so high-strung and overbearing.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • There was something so ruthless in the boy, so overbearing and heartless.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • That was because he found his overbearing tactics did not work.

  • His manner, where he wished to conciliate, was pleasing; but to me it was overbearing and unpleasant.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • He was brutal and overbearing with the workmen, but humble in the presence of his superiors.

    A Zola Dictionary

    J. G. Patterson


British Dictionary definitions for overbearing

overbearing

adjective
  1. domineering or dictatorial in manner or action
  2. of particular or overriding importance or significance
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Derived Formsoverbearingly, adverb

overbear

verb -bears, -bearing, -bore or -borne
  1. (tr) to dominate or overcometo overbear objections
  2. (tr) to press or bear down with weight or physical force
  3. to produce or bear (fruit, progeny, etc) excessively
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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

Word Origin and History for overbearing

adj.

figurative present participle adjective from overbear (v.) in its sense "to bear down."

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overbear

v.

late 14c., "to carry over," from over- + bear (v.). Meaning "to bear down by weight of physical force" is from 1535 (in Coverdale), originally nautical, of an overwhelming wind; figurative sense of "to overcome and repress by power, authority, etc." is from 1560s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper