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[oh-ver-bawrn, -bohrn] /ˌoʊ vərˈbɔrn, -ˈboʊrn/
overcome; crushed; oppressed.
past participle of overbear.


[oh-ver-bair] /ˌoʊ vərˈbɛər/
verb (used with object), overbore, overborne, overbearing.
to bear over or down by weight or force:
With his superior strength he easily overbore his opponent in the fight.
to overcome or overwhelm:
A spirited defense had overborne the enemy attack.
to prevail over or overrule (wishes, objections, etc.):
She overbore all objections to the new plan.
to treat in a domineering way; dominate:
to overbear one's children with threats of violence.
Nautical. (of a sailing ship) to have the advantage of (another sailing ship) because of an ability to carry more canvas safely.
verb (used without object), overbore, overborne, overbearing.
to produce fruit or progeny so abundantly as to impair the health.
Origin of overbear
First recorded in 1525-35; over- + bear1
Related forms
overbearer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overborne
Historical Examples
  • If the North are overborne in this contest, they must and will submit.

  • He had to get his story, and he had overborne Mary Nellen and penetrated to the hall.

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • Whenever I attempted to interpose a word in my defence, I was overborne at once.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
  • The men of moderation are overborne by the wild clamor of the factionist.

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
  • A few might, perhaps, have been merciful, but they were overborne by numbers.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • It is overborne by another and complex impression of awe, compassion and horror.

    Some Reminiscences Joseph Conrad
  • The prisoner at length, overborne by his cross, fell beneath it.

    The Centurion's Story David James Burrell
  • But some day Mr. Birrell may be overborne or may intervene too late.

    Six days of the Irish Republic Louis Redmond-Howard
  • If these forces had been used straightforwardly, France must have been overborne.

    William Pitt and the Great War John Holland Rose
  • If he had, it was overborne by the greater dread of losing his money.

    Freaks of Fortune Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for overborne


verb -bears, -bearing, -bore, -borne
(transitive) to dominate or overcome: to overbear objections
(transitive) to press or bear down with weight or physical force
to produce or bear (fruit, progeny, etc) excessively
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 overborne



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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