[v. oh-ver-floh; n. oh-ver-floh]
verb (used without object), overflowed, overflown, overflowing.
to flow or run over, as rivers or water: After the thaw, the river overflows and causes great damage.
to have the contents flowing over or spilling, as an overfull container: Stop pouring or your glass is going to overflow.
to pass from one place or part to another as if flowing from an overfull space: The population overflowed into the adjoining territory.
to be filled or supplied with in great measure: a heart overflowing with gratitude; a region overflowing with orchards and vineyards.
verb (used with object), overflowed, overflown, overflowing.
to flow over; flood; inundate: The river overflowed several farms.
to flow over or beyond (the brim, banks, borders, etc.).
to cause to overflow.
to flow over the edge or brim of (a receptacle, container, etc.).
to fill to the point of running over.
an overflowing: the annual overflow of the Nile.
something that flows or runs over: to carry off the overflow from a fountain.
a portion crowded out of an overfilled place: to house the overflow of the museum's collection in another building.
an excess or superabundance: an overflow of applicants for the job.
an outlet or receptacle for excess liquid: The tank is equipped with an overflow.

before 900; Middle English overflowen, Old English oferflōwan. See over-, flow

overflowable, adjective
overflowingly, adverb
unoverflowing, adjective

13. overabundance, surplus, plethora, flood, glut.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used with object), overflew, overflown, overflying.
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), overflew, overflown, overflying.
to fly over a particular territory, country, etc.: The plane approached the border but never overflew.

1550–60; over- + fly1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To overflown
World English Dictionary
vb (usually foll by with) , obsolete -flows, -flowing, -flowed, -flown
1.  to flow or run over (a limit, brim, bank, etc)
2.  to fill or be filled beyond capacity so as to spill or run over
3.  to be filled with happiness, tears, etc
4.  (tr) to spread or cover over; flood or inundate
5.  overflowing matter, esp liquid
6.  any outlet that enables surplus liquid to be discharged or drained off, esp one just below the top of a tank or cistern
7.  the amount by which a limit, capacity, etc, is exceeded
8.  computing a condition that occurs when numeric operations produce results too large to store in the memory space assigned to it

overfly (ˌəʊvəˈflaɪ)
vb , -flies, -flying, -flew, -flown
(tr) to fly over (a territory) or past (a point)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. oferfleow "to flow across, flood, inundate," also "to flow over (a brim or bank)," from ofer "over" + fleow "flow." The noun is attested from 1589.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang Dictionary


bit n.
1. [techspeak] A flag on some processors indicating an attempt to calculate a result too large for a register to hold.
2. More generally, an indication of any kind of capacity overload condition. "Well, the Ada description was baroque all right, but I could hack it OK until they got to the exception handling ... that set my overflow bit."
3. The hypothetical bit that will be set if a hacker doesn't get to make a trip to the Room of Porcelain Fixtures: "I'd better process an internal interrupt before the overflow bit gets set."


pdl n. [MIT] The place where you put things when your PDL is full. If you don't have one and too many things get pushed, you forget something. The overflow pdl for a person's memory might be a memo pad. This usage inspired the following doggerel:

Hey, diddle, diddle The overflow pdl To get a little more stack; If that's not enough Then you lose it all, And have to pop all the way back. -The Great Quux

The term `pdl' (see PDL) seems to be primarily an MITism; outside MIT this term is replaced by `overflow stack' (but that wouldn't rhyme with `diddle').
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature