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overcome

[oh-ver-kuhm] /ˌoʊ vərˈkʌm/
verb (used with object), overcame, overcome, overcoming.
1.
to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat:
to overcome the enemy.
2.
to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount:
to overcome one's weaknesses.
3.
to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion:
I was overcome with grief.
4.
Archaic. to overspread or overrun.
verb (used without object), overcame, overcome, overcoming.
5.
to gain the victory; win; conquer:
a plan to overcome by any means possible.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English ofercuman. See over-, come
Related forms
overcomer, noun
unovercome, adjective
Synonyms
1. vanquish. See defeat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for overcome
  • It was built on the notion that economic integration would overcome war and national rivalry.
  • The genetic deficiencies from each parent's lineage were easily overcome by the strengths of the other.
  • So now today scientists are trying to develop new kinds of antibiotics to overcome this resistance.
  • But there are plenty of challenges to overcome first.
  • As technology wears away these obstacles, the law may be the only speed bump for government surveillance to overcome.
  • It is a testament to the historical divisiveness and prejudice that higher education is trying so desperately to overcome.
  • If it succeeds, it can be launched fully formed, and bureaucratic resistance thus overcome.
  • Even if you found space to shoot there were logistical problems to overcome.
  • Any increase in green energy must overcome business and regulatory obstacles.
  • History has shown that it's possible for people to overcome even extreme poverty and hunger.
British Dictionary definitions for overcome

overcome

/ˌəʊvəˈkʌm/
verb -comes, -coming, -came, -come
1.
(transitive) to get the better of in a conflict
2.
(transitive; often passive) to render incapable or powerless by laughter, sorrow, exhaustion, etc: he was overcome by fumes
3.
(transitive) to surmount (obstacles, objections, etc)
4.
(intransitive) to be victorious
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
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Word Origin and History for overcome
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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