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[verb oh-ver-top; noun oh-ver-top] /verb ˌoʊ vərˈtɒp; noun ˈoʊ vərˌtɒp/
verb (used with object), overtopped, overtopping.
to rise over or above the top of:
a skyscraper that overtops all the other buildings.
to rise above in authority; take precedence over; override:
No individual shall overtop the law.
to surpass or excel:
a rise in sales that overtopped everyone in the industry.
a top, sometimes sleeveless, designed to be worn over another garment, as a shirt or dress.
Origin of overtop
First recorded in 1555-65; over- + top1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overtopping
Historical Examples
  • overtopping others in character, he was conspicuous also in debate.

  • Her sweet, proud face was near him once again, overtopping his manhood.

    The Hill of Venus Nathan Gallizier
  • overtopping attribute of God, all of whose attributes are immeasurable.

    New Tabernacle Sermons Thomas De Witt Talmage
  • He was a man of commanding stature, overtopping the squire who rode close behind him, and dwarfing the men-at-arms by contrast.

    Albrecht Arlo Bates
  • These "bruisers" of the hunting field ought to be made to carry three stone dead weight; they should be "trashed for overtopping."

    A Cotswold Village J. Arthur Gibbs
  • He was a big fellow, broad shouldered and tall, overtopping the chief by several inches, though the latter was not short.

    South from Hudson Bay E. C. [Ethel Claire] Brill
  • Mr. Jope glanced back at the roof of Merry-Garden, which from the quay could be seen just overtopping the laylocks.

    Merry-Garden and Other Stories

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • To the rear of these, overtopping all at intervals, lofty snow-clads lifted their white crowns into the sunshine.

    Over the Ocean Curtis Guild
  • The belfries and roofs of mediæval Orange rose in the clear air, overtopping the half ruined theatre in many places.

    The Ways of Men Eliot Gregory
  • overtopping all are the fields of snow, the great reservoirs of the springs and rivers which fertilize the country.

British Dictionary definitions for overtopping


the rising of water over the top of a barrier


verb (transitive) -tops, -topping, -topped
to exceed in height
to surpass; excel
to rise over the top of
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 overtopping



1560s, from over- + top (v.). Related: Overtopped; overtopping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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