overbear

[oh-ver-bair]

verb (used with object), o·ver·bore, o·ver·borne, o·ver·bear·ing.

to bear over or down by weight or force: With his superior strength he easily overbore his opponent in the fight.
to overcome or overwhelm: A spirited defense had overborne the enemy attack.
to prevail over or overrule (wishes, objections, etc.): She overbore all objections to the new plan.
to treat in a domineering way; dominate: to overbear one's children with threats of violence.
Nautical. (of a sailing ship) to have the advantage of (another sailing ship) because of an ability to carry more canvas safely.

verb (used without object), o·ver·bore, o·ver·borne, o·ver·bear·ing.

to produce fruit or progeny so abundantly as to impair the health.

Origin of overbear

First recorded in 1525–35; over- + bear1
Related formso·ver·bear·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overbear

Historical Examples of overbear

  • I have through my whole life interfered to protect, not overbear, the sufferer; and I must do so now.

    Caleb Williams

    William Godwin

  • If pruned the same, the grafted vines may overbear and quickly exhaust themselves.

  • He was angry, but he would never more attempt to overbear me with grand threats.

    The O'Ruddy

    Stephen Crane

  • Whatever the reasons for having deserted him he was determined to overbear.

    Gerald Fitzgerald

    Charles James Lever

  • In New England the Puritans were supreme, notwithstanding the efforts of the crown to overbear their authority.

    History of the United States

    Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard



British Dictionary definitions for overbear

overbear

verb -bears, -bearing, -bore or -borne

(tr) to dominate or overcometo overbear objections
(tr) to press or bear down with weight or physical force
to produce or bear (fruit, progeny, etc) excessively
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 overbear
v.

late 14c., "to carry over," from over- + bear (v.). Meaning "to bear down by weight of physical force" is from 1535 (in Coverdale), originally nautical, of an overwhelming wind; figurative sense of "to overcome and repress by power, authority, etc." is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper