9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[oh-ver-wee-ning] /ˈoʊ vərˈwi nɪŋ/
presumptuously conceited, overconfident, or proud:
a brash, insolent, overweening fellow.
exaggerated, excessive, or arrogant:
overweening prejudice; overweening pride.
Origin of overweening
1300-50; Middle English overwening(e) (gerund); see overween, -ing2
Related forms
overweeningly, adverb
overweeningness, noun


[oh-ver-ween] /ˌoʊ vərˈwin/
verb (used without object), Archaic.
to be conceited or arrogant.
1275-1325; Middle English overwenen; see over-, ween
Related forms
overweener, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overweening
  • But for all of my overweening rationality, my world remained a dark, forbidding place beyond my control.
  • In the face of overweening globalisation, to destroy the twin towers was the only response.
  • But there were some oddities and curious omissions and overweening pretensions, too.
  • What seemed to be an overweening statement was not without merit.
  • Perhaps overweening vanity has run its course for the moment.
  • We enjoy a confluence of overwhelming ignorance with overweening arrogance.
  • At times, government is overweening and ought to be cut back.
  • The existence of an overweening state machine that meddles in everything can tempt leaders to use it against their political foes.
British Dictionary definitions for overweening


(of a person) excessively arrogant or presumptuous
(of opinions, appetites, etc) excessive; immoderate
Derived Forms
overweeningly, adverb
overweeningness, noun
Word Origin
C14: over- + weening, from Old English wēnan: see ween
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 overweening

mid-14c., from present participle of verb overwenen "be conceited, presume, be presumptuous, be over-confident," from Old English oferwenian "to be proud, become insolent or presumptuous;" see over- + ween.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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