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

verb (used with object), o·ver·topped, o·ver·top·ping.

to rise over or above the top of: a skyscraper that overtops all the other buildings.
to rise above in authority; take precedence over; override: No individual shall overtop the law.
to surpass or excel: a rise in sales that overtopped everyone in the industry.


a top, sometimes sleeveless, designed to be worn over another garment, as a shirt or dress.

Origin of overtop

First recorded in 1555–65; over- + top1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overtopping

Historical Examples of overtopping

  • Overtopping others in character, he was conspicuous also in debate.

  • Her sweet, proud face was near him once again, overtopping his manhood.

    The Hill of Venus

    Nathan Gallizier

  • Overtopping attribute of God, all of whose attributes are immeasurable.

    New Tabernacle Sermons

    Thomas De Witt Talmage

  • He was a man of commanding stature, overtopping the squire who rode close behind him, and dwarfing the men-at-arms by contrast.


    Arlo Bates

  • These "bruisers" of the hunting field ought to be made to carry three stone dead weight; they should be "trashed for overtopping."

    A Cotswold Village

    J. Arthur Gibbs

British Dictionary definitions for overtopping



the rising of water over the top of a barrier


verb -tops, -topping or -topped (tr)

to exceed in height
to surpass; excel
to rise over the top of
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 overtopping



1560s, from over- + top (v.). Related: Overtopped; overtopping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper