• synonyms


verb (used with object), o·ver·came, o·ver·come, o·ver·com·ing.
  1. to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.
  2. to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one's weaknesses.
  3. to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.
  4. Archaic. to overspread or overrun.
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verb (used without object), o·ver·came, o·ver·come, o·ver·com·ing.
  1. to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.
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Origin of overcome

before 900; Middle English; Old English ofercuman. See over-, come
Related formso·ver·com·er, nounun·o·ver·come, adjective


Synonym study

1. See defeat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overcomer

Historical Examples

  • The ultimate crown is for the overcomer, and not for the untempted one.

    Standards of Life and Service

    T. H. Howard

  • Every overcomer will receive all that is contained in these seven promises.

  • Hidden manna and a white stone in which is inscribed a new name are rewarded the overcomer.

  • But to be an overcomer, I knew there must be no shrinking from duty until the last battle is fought.

  • It is not that one overcomer receives one thing, and another another, but each one gets all of what is mentioned in the seven.

British Dictionary definitions for overcomer


verb -comes, -coming, -came or -come
  1. (tr) to get the better of in a conflict
  2. (tr; often passive) to render incapable or powerless by laughter, sorrow, exhaustion, etche was overcome by fumes
  3. (tr) to surmount (obstacles, objections, etc)
  4. (intr) to be victorious
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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 overcomer



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper