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[oh-ver-pou-er] /ˌoʊ vərˈpaʊ ər/
verb (used with object)
to overcome, master, or subdue by superior force:
to overpower a maniac.
to overcome or overwhelm in feeling; affect or impress excessively:
overpowered with confusion and desire.
to gain mastery over the bodily powers or mental faculties of:
a strong drink that quickly overpowered him.
to furnish or equip with excessive power:
a giant motor that overpowered the pump.
Origin of overpower
1585-95; over- + power
Related forms
unoverpowered, adjective
1. vanquish, subjugate, conquer, defeat, beat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for overpower
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When this alarm—always startling, but doubly so in a crowded prison—was given, we were to rush upon the guards and overpower them.

    Capturing a Locomotive William Pittenger
  • I am afraid your wealth and his (Antisthenes') combined may overpower me.

    The Symposium Xenophon
  • Ten hostlers in the Royal stables were taken redhanded in the attempt to overpower the small guard at the western gates.

    Truxton King George Barr McCutcheon
  • Her complaint was like an admission that he could overpower her will.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • He saw the German army advancing again or at least enough of it to know that it could overpower the defense.

    The Guns of Europe Joseph A. Altsheler
British Dictionary definitions for overpower


verb (transitive)
to conquer or subdue by superior force
to have such a strong effect on as to make helpless or ineffective
to supply with more power than necessary
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 overpower

"to overcome with superior power," 1590s, from over- + power (v.). Related: Overpowered; overpowering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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