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overflow

[verb oh-ver-floh; noun oh-ver-floh]
verb (used without object), o·ver·flowed, o·ver·flown, o·ver·flow·ing.
  1. to flow or run over, as rivers or water: After the thaw, the river overflows and causes great damage.
  2. to have the contents flowing over or spilling, as an overfull container: Stop pouring or your glass is going to overflow.
  3. to pass from one place or part to another as if flowing from an overfull space: The population overflowed into the adjoining territory.
  4. to be filled or supplied with in great measure: a heart overflowing with gratitude; a region overflowing with orchards and vineyards.
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verb (used with object), o·ver·flowed, o·ver·flown, o·ver·flow·ing.
  1. to flow over; flood; inundate: The river overflowed several farms.
  2. to flow over or beyond (the brim, banks, borders, etc.).
  3. to cause to overflow.
  4. to flow over the edge or brim of (a receptacle, container, etc.).
  5. to fill to the point of running over.
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noun
  1. an overflowing: the annual overflow of the Nile.
  2. something that flows or runs over: to carry off the overflow from a fountain.
  3. a portion crowded out of an overfilled place: to house the overflow of the museum's collection in another building.
  4. an excess or superabundance: an overflow of applicants for the job.
  5. an outlet or receptacle for excess liquid: The tank is equipped with an overflow.
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Origin of overflow

before 900; Middle English overflowen, Old English oferflōwan. See over-, flow
Related formso·ver·flow·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·flow·ing·ly, adverbun·o·ver·flow·ing, adjective

Synonyms

overfly

[oh-ver-flahy]
verb (used with object), o·ver·flew, o·ver·flown, o·ver·fly·ing.
  1. to fly over (a specified area, territory, country, etc.): The plane lost its way and overflew foreign territory.
  2. to fly farther than or beyond; overshoot.
  3. to fly over or past instead of making a scheduled stop: to overfly Philadelphia because of bad weather.
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verb (used without object), o·ver·flew, o·ver·flown, o·ver·fly·ing.
  1. to fly over a particular territory, country, etc.: The plane approached the border but never overflew.
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Origin of overfly

First recorded in 1550–60; over- + fly1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

overabundancetorrentdelugedraininundatebrimspillleakdrownpourswampcascadegushsubmergesoakoverrunengulfsurplusplethoraencroachment

Examples from the Web for overflown

Historical Examples

  • It is so; and no doubt but our feathered favourites have overflown us.

    A Select Collection of Old English Plays

    Robert Dodsley

  • The valley itself is overflown with every rise of the Mississippi above this point.

  • In some places the land is overflown with fresh water, at full sea.

  • Whether 'the world that then was' was overflown and perished by the causes set forth, we can not tell.

  • Overflown lands were redeemed, and stagnant and unwholesome marshes became, by the magic of his mind, fertile and healthy plains.


British Dictionary definitions for overflown

overflow

verb (ˌəʊvəˈfləʊ) -flows or -flowing or -flowed or formerly -flown
  1. to flow or run over (a limit, brim, bank, etc)
  2. to fill or be filled beyond capacity so as to spill or run over
  3. (intr usually foll by with) to be filled with happiness, tears, etc
  4. (tr) to spread or cover over; flood or inundate
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noun (ˈəʊvəˌfləʊ)
  1. overflowing matter, esp liquid
  2. any outlet that enables surplus liquid to be discharged or drained off, esp one just below the top of a tank or cistern
  3. the amount by which a limit, capacity, etc, is exceeded
  4. computing a condition that occurs when numeric operations produce results too large to store in the memory space assigned to it
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overfly

verb -flies, -flying, -flew or -flown
  1. (tr) to fly over (a territory) or past (a point)
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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 overflown

overflow

v.

Old English oferfleow "to flow across, flood, inundate," also "to flow over (a brim or bank);" see over- + flow (v.). Related: Overflowed; overflowing.

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overflow

n.

1580s, "act of overflowing," from overflow (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper