- simple past tense of overcome.
- to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.
- to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one's weaknesses.
- to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.
- Archaic. to overspread or overrun.
- to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.
Origin of overcome
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for overcame
In that vein, Burns and Ward stress how TR, ER, and FDR “overcame … the traumas of their childhoods” and young adult lives.Ken Burns’s ‘Roosevelts’ Fine But Flawed
Harvey J. Kaye
September 14, 2014
Boies recounts how he overcame those obstacles by compelling arguments.How the Tide Turned on Gay Marriage
June 20, 2014
Three-term Senator Pat Roberts overcame a legal challenge to stay on the ballot in Kansas's Republican primary on Monday.There's No Place Like Home For Kansas Senator Pat Roberts
May 12, 2014
The Senate overcame procedural obstacles thrown up by Ted Cruz to pass a clean increase in the debt ceiling on Wednesday.Senate Raises Debt Ceiling After GOP 'Dysfunction'
February 12, 2014
In the book, Matilda overcame her neglectful parents by teaching herself how to read Dickens and perform complicated math.‘Matilda’ Star Mara Wilson Reviews ‘Matilda the Musical’
April 16, 2013
And in that hour the joy of these two who were so fond of each other overcame all their sorrow.The Chinese Fairy Book
It had carried an alien note that overcame him with instinctive fear and horror.Salvage in Space
John Stewart Williamson
If Michael were stronger and overcame my party, there would be an end.The Prisoner of Zenda
Thus the other woman in her tempted and overcame her, and drew her on from day to day.The Christian
But a second command, accompanied by a vigorous oath, overcame his hesitation.Bardelys the Magnificent
- (tr) to get the better of in a conflict
- (tr; often passive) to render incapable or powerless by laughter, sorrow, exhaustion, etche was overcome by fumes
- (tr) to surmount (obstacles, objections, etc)
- (intr) to be victorious
Word Origin and History for overcame
Old English ofercuman "to reach, overtake," also "to conquer, prevail over," from ofer (see over) + cuman "to come" (see come (v.)). A common Germanic compound (cf. Middle Dutch overkomen, Old High German ubarqueman, German überkommen). In reference to mental or chemical force, "to overwhelm, render helpless," it is in late Old English. Meaning "to surmount" (a difficulty or obstacle) is from c.1200. The Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" was put together c.1950s from lyrics from Charles Tindley's spiritual "I'll Overcome Some Day" (1901), and melody from pre-Civil War spiritual "No More Auction Block for Me." Related: Overcame; overcoming.