Definition of overcome in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌōvərˈkəm/

verb (past overcame; past participle overcome)

[with object]
1Succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty): she worked hard to overcome her paralyzing shyness
More example sentences
  • I learned to cover my pains and overcame my poverty with hard work and a new hope for my future.
  • Glasgow is working hard to overcome these problems and the city is undergoing rapid economic change.
  • Many governments are trying to overcome their problems and some are succeeding.
get the better of, prevail over, control, get/bring under control, master, conquer, defeat, beat;
get over, get a grip on, curb, subdue
informal lick, best
1.1Defeat (an opponent); prevail: without firing a shot they overcame the guards [no object]: we shall overcome
More example sentences
  • No little effort was required to overcome stubborn opponents who showed why they have been rejuvenated of late.
  • Corretja, seeded eighth, has yet to drop a set at one of his favourite tournaments but had to wait for six hours before finally overcoming his opponent.
  • Tai Chi uses the power of relaxation, rather than force, to overcome an opponent.
defeat, beat, conquer, trounce, thrash, rout, vanquish, overwhelm, overpower, get the better of, triumph over, prevail over, win over/against, outdo, outclass, worst, crush
informal drub, slaughter, clobber, hammer, lick, best, crucify, demolish, wipe the floor with, make mincemeat of, blow out of the water, take to the cleaners, shellac, skunk
1.2 (usually be overcome) (Of an emotion) overpower or overwhelm: she was obviously overcome with excitement
More example sentences
  • It is perfectly acceptable for a real man to cry when he is overcome with emotion.
  • She was overcome with emotions as she gazed at the purest sunset she had ever laid eyes on.
  • She was overcome with the feeling that she had to do something and she wasn't doing it.
overwhelmed, emotional, moved, affected, speechless


Old English ofercuman (see over-, come).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·ver·come

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