all over,
    1. over the entire surface of; everywhere: material printed all over with a floral design.
    2. thoroughly; entirely.
    3. finished: The war was all over and the soldiers came home.
    all over with, ended; finished: It seemed miraculous that the feud was all over with.
    over again, in repetition; once more: The director had the choir sing one passage over again.
    over against. against(def 13).
    over and above, in addition to; besides: a profit over and above what they had anticipated.
    over and over, several times; repeatedly: They played the same record over and over.
    over the hill. hill(def 11).
    over there, Informal. (in the U.S. during and after World War I) in or to Europe: Many of the boys who went over there never came back.
    over with, finished or done: Let's get this thing over with, so that we don't have to worry about it any more.

Origin of over

before 900; (adv., preposition) Middle English; Old English ofer; cognate with Dutch over, German ober; (adj.) Middle English over(e), orig. variant of uver(e) (E dial. uver; cf. love), Old English ufera (akin to ofer), assimilated to the adv. form; akin to Latin super, Greek hypér, Sanskrit upari. See up, hyper-


a prefixal use of over, preposition, adverb, or adjective, occurring in various senses in compounds (overboard; overcoat; overhang; overlap; overlord; overrun; overthrow), and especially employed, with the sense of “over the limit,” “to excess,” “too much,” “too,” to form verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and nouns (overact; overcapitalize; overcrowd; overfull; overmuch; oversupply; overweight), and many others, mostly self-explanatory: a hyphen, which is commonly absent from old or well-established formations, is sometimes used in new coinages or in any words whose component parts it may be desirable to set off distinctly.

Origin of over-

Middle English; Old English ofer-. See over Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for over

Contemporary Examples of over

Historical Examples of over

  • Over the gate was written in large letters, 'The Entrance of Mortals.'


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Look at him now over there, the way he goes around butting into strangers.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Say, honestly, I didn't know my own name till I had a chanst to look me over.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He was so good they shot him all up one night last fall over to Wardner.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • “Thou art a big fellow for a school,” said his uncle, looking him over.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

British Dictionary definitions for over



directly above; on the top of; via the top or upper surface ofover one's head
on or to the other side ofover the river
during; through, or throughout (a period of time)
in or throughout all parts ofto travel over England
throughout the whole extent ofover the racecourse
above; in preference toI like that over everything else
by the agency of (an instrument of telecommunication)we heard it over the radio
more thanover a century ago
on the subject of; aboutan argument over nothing
while occupied indiscussing business over golf
having recovered from the effects ofshe's not over that last love affair yet
over and above added to; in addition tohe earns a large amount over and above his salary


in a state, condition, situation, or position that is or has been placed or put over somethingto climb over
(particle) so as to cause to fallknocking over a policeman
at or to a point across intervening space, water, etccome over and see us; over in America
throughout a whole areathe world over
(particle) from beginning to end, usually cursorilyto read a document over
throughout a period of timestay over for this week
(esp in signalling and radio) it is now your turn to speak, act, etc
more than is expected or usualnot over well
over again once more
over against
  1. opposite to
  2. contrasting with
over and over (often foll by again) repeatedly
over the odds
  1. in addition, esp when not expected
  2. unfair or excessive


(postpositive) finished; no longer in progressis the concert over yet?

adverb, adjective

remaining; surplus (often in the phrase left over)


  1. a series of six balls bowled by a bowler from the same end of the pitch
  2. the play during this

Word Origin for over

Old English ofer; related to Old High German ubir, obar, Old Norse yfir, Latin super, Greek huper



excessive or excessively; beyond an agreed or desirable limitovercharge; overdue; oversimplify
indicating superior rankoverseer
indicating location or movement aboveoverhang
indicating movement downwardsoverthrow
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 over

Old English ofer "beyond, above, upon, in, across, past; on high," from Proto-Germanic *uberi (cf. Old Saxon obar, Old Frisian over, Old Norse yfir, Old High German ubar, German über, Gothic ufar "over, above"), from PIE *uper (see super-). As an adjective from Old English uffera. As an adverb from late Old English. Sense of "finished" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "recovered from" is from 1929. In radio communication, used to indicate the speaker has finished speaking (1926). Adjective phrase over-the-counter is attested from 1875, originally of stocks and shares.


word-forming element meaning "above; highest; across; too much; above normal; outer," from Old English ofer (see over). Over and its Germanic relations were widely used as prefixes, and sometimes could be used with negative force, though this is rare in Modern English. Cf. Gothic ufarmunnon "to forget," ufar-swaran "to swear falsely;" Old English ofercræft "fraud."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with over


In addition to the idioms beginning with over

  • over a barrel
  • over again
  • over against
  • over and above
  • over and done with
  • over and over
  • over my dead body
  • over one's head
  • over the edge
  • over the hill
  • over the hump
  • over the top
  • over with

also see:

  • all over

(and entries beginning with all over)bend over backwardbind overblow overboil overbowl overcarry overcheck on (over)chew the cud (over)cloud overcome overcross overcrow overcry over spilt milkdo overdraw a veil overdrop by (over)fall all overfork overfuck overget overget the advantage of (over)give overgloss overgo overhand overhand over fisthang overhash overhave a hold overhave it (all over someone)head over heelshold overhoneymoon is overin deep water (over one's head)it's all over withjump all overkeel overkeep watch (over)kick over the tracesknock for a loop (over with a feather)knock overlay overlook like death (warmed over)look overlord it overlose sleep overmake overmind over mattermull overonce over lightlypaper overparty's overpass overpick overpull overpull the wool over someone's eyesput overrake over the coalsride roughshod overroll overroof over one's headrun one's eyes overrun overscoot oversign oversleep oversmooth overstand overstart overstop off (over)take overtalk overthink overthrow overtide overtill hell freezes overturn in (over) one's graveturn overturn over a new leafwalk all overwatch overwater over the damwin overwork over.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.