verb (used with object)
  1. to be more than a match for; surpass; defeat: an assignment that clearly overmatched his abilities; an able task force that overmatched the enemy fleet.
  2. to match (a competitor) against another of superior strength, ability, or the like.

Origin of overmatch

First recorded in 1300–50, overmatch is from the Middle English word overmacchen. See over-, match2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overmatch

Historical Examples of overmatch

  • He was far my overmatch in strength and size; but I stood up to him.

  • The present is too strong for the past, just as sorrow is always an overmatch for joy.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • The naked Derar, horsed on an idea, was found an overmatch for a troop of cavalry.

    How to Succeed

    Orison Swett Marden

  • Indeed, but for his belief that he was an overmatch for the other in speed, he would not have ventured after him.

    The Free Lances

    Mayne Reid

  • Villainy that is vigilant will be an overmatch for virtue, if she slumber at her post.

    Pearls of Thought

    Maturin M. Ballou

British Dictionary definitions for overmatch


verb (ˌəʊvəˈmætʃ) (tr)
  1. to be more than a match for
  2. to match with a superior opponent
noun (ˈəʊvəˌmætʃ)
  1. a person superior in ability
  2. a match in which one contestant is superior
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 overmatch

mid-14c., "be more than a match for," from over- + match (v.). Related: Overmatched; overmatching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper