[verb oh-ver-floh; noun oh-ver-floh]

verb (used without object), o·ver·flowed, o·ver·flown, o·ver·flow·ing.

verb (used with object), o·ver·flowed, o·ver·flown, o·ver·flow·ing.


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 for overflow



verb (used with object), o·ver·flew, o·ver·flown, o·ver·fly·ing.

to fly over (a specified area, territory, country, etc.): The plane lost its way and overflew foreign territory.
to fly farther than or beyond; overshoot.
to fly over or past instead of making a scheduled stop: to overfly Philadelphia because of bad weather.

verb (used without object), o·ver·flew, o·ver·flown, o·ver·fly·ing.

to fly over a particular territory, country, etc.: The plane approached the border but never overflew.

Origin of overfly

First recorded in 1550–60; over- + fly1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overflown

Historical Examples of overflown

British Dictionary definitions for overflown


verb (ˌəʊvəˈfləʊ) -flows or -flowing or -flowed or formerly -flown

to flow or run over (a limit, brim, bank, etc)
to fill or be filled beyond capacity so as to spill or run over
(intr usually foll by with) to be filled with happiness, tears, etc
(tr) to spread or cover over; flood or inundate

noun (ˈəʊvəˌfləʊ)

overflowing matter, esp liquid
any outlet that enables surplus liquid to be discharged or drained off, esp one just below the top of a tank or cistern
the amount by which a limit, capacity, etc, is exceeded
computing a condition that occurs when numeric operations produce results too large to store in the memory space assigned to it


verb -flies, -flying, -flew or -flown

(tr) to fly over (a territory) or past (a point)
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



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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper