Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[oh-ver-kuhm] /ˌoʊ vərˈkʌm/
verb (used with object), overcame, overcome, overcoming.
to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat:
to overcome the enemy.
to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount:
to overcome one's weaknesses.
to overpower or overwhelm in body or mind, as does liquor, a drug, exertion, or emotion:
I was overcome with grief.
Archaic. to overspread or overrun.
verb (used without object), overcame, overcome, overcoming.
to gain the victory; win; conquer:
a plan to overcome by any means possible.
Origin of overcome
before 900; Middle English; Old English ofercuman. See over-, come
Related forms
overcomer, noun
unovercome, adjective
1. vanquish. See defeat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for overcome
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That night, overcome by fatigue, strange as it may seem, we all slept soundly.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • He had fallen into a chair, faint and overcome, as tears came to his eyes.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • The first difficulty to be overcome was the want of carriage.

    Forty-one years in India Frederick Sleigh Roberts
  • He seemed shrivelled and bent, as if some sudden weakness had overcome him.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Still, two persons felt a prejudice for this man which they could not overcome: they were Sunbeam and the hunter's mother.

    The Trapper's Daughter Gustave Aimard
British Dictionary definitions for overcome


verb -comes, -coming, -came, -come
(transitive) to get the better of in a conflict
(transitive; often passive) to render incapable or powerless by laughter, sorrow, exhaustion, etc: he was overcome by fumes
(transitive) to surmount (obstacles, objections, etc)
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for overcome

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for overcome

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for overcome

Scrabble Words With Friends