- 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.
- to gain the victory; win; conquer: a plan to overcome by any means possible.
Origin of overcome
SynonymsSee more synonyms for overcome on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for overcoming
He opens up about overcoming tragedy, letting go of the Showtime drama, and a possible spin-off.Michael C. Hall on Going Drag for ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ and Exorcising ‘Dexter’
December 4, 2014
They open up about the state of the music industry, Taylor Swift and Miley, and overcoming tragedy.Revenge of the Rock Nerds: TV on the Radio’s Long Road to ‘Seeds’
December 3, 2014
The real problem—a problem that thus far has proven intractable—is overcoming the doubt and fear.Powdered Measles Vaccine Could Be Huge for Developing World
December 2, 2014
Hasidic Jews are starting to speak up, overcoming the cultural modesty surrounding sexual misconduct.Rebel Rabbi Exposes Child Molesters
January 27, 2014
Her story, and that of her whole community, is one of overcoming against all odds.The Little Syrian Girl With a Bullet in Her Head
November 29, 2013
In point of fact he was not suffering, but extreme dejection was overcoming him.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
After overcoming every obstacle, he had the satisfaction of reaping the reward of his enterprise.Self-Help
Wentworth had some trouble in overcoming his friend's scruples.A Woman Intervenes
I withstood all that, but you don't give up at all and step by step you are overcoming my resolve.The Middle Class Gentleman
Desperately he fought to prevent the numbing sensation from overcoming him.
- (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
Word Origin and History for overcoming
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.