- 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 overcome
She fails to appreciate the congressional and constitutional obstacles Johnson had to overcome to win passage of the bill.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’
January 2, 2015
She was separated from her colleagues after they were overcome by smoke and heat and ordered to withdraw.The Mystery Death Of A Female Firefighter
December 13, 2014
To overcome these impediments, at least two tour operators bring visitors into the region.Egypt Ain’t The Only Pyramid Show In Town
December 11, 2014
What kind of advice would you give to young women to overcome that glass ceiling?In All-Girls Schools, a Formula for Success
October 21, 2014
And that suggests these attacks were such that the victims were driven to overcome the usual reluctance to file a report.The Math That Keeps Helping College Rapists
October 3, 2014
He had fallen into a chair, faint and overcome, as tears came to his eyes.
This computation covers only the machine's power to overcome resistance.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
What was the matter with her that she was less gay, and that she was so overcome by this delicious pang?
What had he said, what was the word he had just pronounced, that she should be so overcome by it?
She listened to him, silent, overcome with compassion, yet very happy withal.
- (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 overcome
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.