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See more synonyms for overawe on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), o·ver·awed, o·ver·aw·ing.
  1. to restrain or subdue by inspiring awe; intimidate: He often uses that imperious scowl to overawe his subordinates.
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Origin of overawe

First recorded in 1570–80; over- + awe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for overawe

thrill, faze, excite, touch, affect, awe, sway, inspire, dismay, dishearten, constrain, bully, subdue, alarm, appall, coerce, daunt, scare, terrify, terrorize

Examples from the Web for overawe

Historical Examples of overawe

  • He spoke in a jerky voice, as if he thought to overawe the boy.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • "To your work," he cried, bravely, thinking yet that he might overawe them.

  • And had he begun to build his castles to stun and overawe the rabbles that pass his door?

    The Root of Evil

    Thomas Dixon

  • Not a single soldier is to be found in our domain to overawe or protect society.

    Robert Toombs

    Pleasant A. Stovall

  • He may, indeed, build barrack after barrack to overawe them.

British Dictionary definitions for overawe


  1. (tr) to subdue, restrain, or overcome by affecting with a feeling of awe
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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 overawe


1570s, from over- + awe (v.). Perhaps coined by Spenser. Related: Overawed; overawing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper