overcome

[oh-ver-kuhm]

verb (used with object), o·ver·came, o·ver·come, o·ver·com·ing.

to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: to overcome the enemy.
to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: to overcome one's weaknesses.
to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion: I was overcome with grief.
Archaic. to overspread or overrun.

verb (used without object), o·ver·came, o·ver·come, o·ver·com·ing.

to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.

Origin of overcome

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

Synonyms for overcome

Synonym study

1. See defeat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overcoming

Contemporary Examples of overcoming

Historical Examples of overcoming

  • The drollness of the situation was in danger of overcoming him again.

    Bonaventure

    George Washington Cable

  • The overcoming, victorious life is the only kind that satisfies the soul and qualifies for spiritual success in this world.

  • He had, however, found much difficulty in overcoming an odd prejudice which his chief had conceived against him.

  • There is one very ingenious device for overcoming this difficulty by means of a motor and propeller.

  • It is a question of facing and overcoming a difficulty or permitting it to overcome you.

    Winning His "W"

    Everett Titsworth Tomlinson



British Dictionary definitions for overcoming

overcome

verb -comes, -coming, -came or -come

(tr) to get the better of in a conflict
(tr; often passive) to render incapable or powerless by laughter, sorrow, exhaustion, etche was overcome by fumes
(tr) to surmount (obstacles, objections, etc)
(intr) to be victorious
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 overcoming

overcome

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper