Definition of over in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈəʊvə/


1Extending directly upwards from: I saw flames over Berlin cook the sauce over a moderate heat
More example sentences
  • Add olives to the pan and cook over a moderate heat until they begin to wrinkle.
  • Lift the fish out onto warm plates and place the baking dish over a moderate flame.
  • In a large heavy pan, melt half the butter with the oil over a moderate heat.
1.1Above so as to cover or protect: an oxygen tent over the bed ladle this sauce over fresh pasta
More example sentences
  • He was on his bed with the covers over him and she thought he was asleep.
  • Two engineers were then able to pull up the two covers over the damaged cable.
  • The blast from the bomb had blown out all the windows but my mother had pulled the covers over us.
1.2Extending above (an area) from a vantage point: views over Hyde Park
More example sentences
  • This area has great views over the rear garden through large windows and a set of patio doors.
  • There's a large outside balcony area which faces South over the city centre rooftops.
  • This is a gracious and welcoming house with spectacular views over open countryside.
2At a higher level or layer than: his flat was over the shop
More example sentences
  • He then had an opportunity to put the visitors level but he flicked the shot just over the cross bar.
  • The drysuit can be worn over a layer of clothing and it keeps its wearer completely dry and warm.
  • Just to make sure, I now usually use a second layer of bandage over the first.
2.1Higher in rank than: over him is the financial director
More example sentences
  • The first-level manager, of course, has another manager over him.
  • John had two levels of management over him.
  • He had six senior officers over him.
superior to, above, higher up than, more powerful than, in charge of, responsible for, commanding
2.2Expressing authority or control: editorial control over what is included
More example sentences
  • He is concerned about the local education authority losing some control over the school.
  • They also insist local authorities will still have some control over their own waste policies.
  • At this time there was little or no control over speed boats by the authorities.
2.3Expressing preference: I’d choose the well-known brand over that one
More example sentences
  • It also reveals a preference for debt over equity as a means of providing external funding.
  • None of this persuades me that my preference for poetry over politics is a wrong choice.
  • In the old days, we used to prefer the wider good over personal convenience.
2.4Expressing majority: there was a slight predominance of boys over girls
More example sentences
  • There was an excess of men over women.
  • Care was taken to attend showings at which the audience contained a predominance of adults over children
2.5Higher in volume or pitch than: he shouted over the noise of the taxis
More example sentences
  • I shouted over the noise.
  • People crowded round the bar frantically shouting their orders over the noise of the band.
  • Much of the night was spent shouting at increasing volumes over ear-splitting music.
3Higher or more than (a specified number or quantity): over 40 degrees C they’ve been married for over a year
More example sentences
  • The shores of these islands are often sandy but temperatures over 30 degrees are rare.
  • We had been together for over a year, but I left him because everything he did seemed so boring and dull.
  • Mind you, I think it was probably over thirty degrees when this was filmed earlier today.
more than, above, in excess of, exceeding, upwards of, beyond, greater than
4Expressing passage or trajectory across: she trudged over the lawn
More example sentences
  • We headed off down Pierce's Passage and over a muddy boulder slope until we reached some cascades.
  • A small climb up over a muddy slope gains a corner with some fine formations.
  • Clamber over this, and follow the passage through a short canal to a rope climb up a rift.
4.1Beyond and falling or hanging from: he toppled over the side of the boat
More example sentences
  • Many of the owners are given time frames of how long it will be before their homes topple over the cliff.
  • He fell 25 feet over a ledge and suffered head injuries after crashing into rocks.
  • He left the pub alone at closing time and must have fallen over the wall on his walk home.
4.2At the other side of; beyond: over the hill is a small village
More example sentences
  • He sits next to his Personal Assistant, with his sales and marketing director over the partition.
  • Over the river, King's College has an absolutely stunning Fellows' Garden.
  • There is a village over the river from Liverpool called Port Sunlight.
5Expressing duration: you’ve given us a lot of heartache over the years she told me over coffee
More example sentences
  • We talk over coffee in his small Knightsbridge office, where he employs just one assistant.
  • Alan eventually broke the news to her over a cup of coffee when they got home.
  • I've been in a lot of interesting places over the past two years and worked with some really great people.
6Expressing the medium by which something is done; by means of: a voice came over the loudspeaker
More example sentences
  • Customers will get used to making free voice calls over the internet.
  • The lights began to dim out and then a voice was heard over the microphone.
  • The almost robotic voice of the security office fizzed over the voice comm.
7On the subject of: a long and heated debate over unemployment
More example sentences
  • Right now, the world is faced with a debate over how to deal with the water crisis.
  • There is a great deal of debate over the safety of buying on the internet.
  • The debate over the use of cannabis in medicine is controversial and emotive.
on the subject of, about, concerning, apropos of, with reference to, speaking of, with regard/respect to, regarding, as regards, relating to, respecting, in connection with, as for, re;
Latin in re


1Expressing passage or trajectory across an area: he leant over and tapped me on the hand
More example sentences
  • He leaned over and sloppily kissed her, and she could smell liquor on his breath.
  • He lifted me over and then one of them grabbed my hand.
  • He reached over and gently stroked the cat.
1.1In or to the place indicated: I’m over here
More example sentences
  • The other side of town is a virtual no go area for us living over here.
  • He's over in the kitchen area, wearing nothing but his hat and a baggy pair of Y-fronts.
  • I was drinking in the area so I popped over to have a quick look.
2Beyond and falling or hanging from a point: she knocked the jug over
More example sentences
  • It had toppled itself so far over to one side that it had pulled its roots out of the soil.
  • One of my parsley pots had fallen over, so I picked it up and put it down properly.
  • The oil drum where the male monkey had been sitting began to wobble from side to side and finally toppled right over.
3Used to express action and result: the car flipped over hand the money over
More example sentences
  • You have to hand it over to a director and allow them to do what they want to it.
  • It will be preserved and covered over by the floor slab of the new building.
  • The real eyesore was the derelict building we took over, which was covered in vandalism.
3.1Finished: the match is over message understood, over and out
More example sentences
  • The question should be whether the halcyon days of direct foreign investment are over.
  • Any chance of further reform across other areas is now over.
  • But the game was far from over and the home side were not going to go down without a fight.
at an end, finished, concluded, terminated, no more, ended, extinct, gone, dead, a thing of the past, ancient history
4Used to express repetition of a process: the jukebox plays every song twice over
More example sentences
  • If you could pick just one day of your life to live over again, which day would you choose?
  • Of course we wouldn't live the same life over, that wouldn't be possible, would it?
  • As a healthcare professional that is what I observe over and again.


A sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.
Example sentences
  • He would bowl six overs, take wickets and get taken off because he was so unfit.
  • As on Saturday, play went on late because Worcestershire bowled their overs so slowly.
  • At that stage, scoring at eight runs an over appeared to be a fantastic display.



(all) over again

From the beginning for a second or subsequent time: the sums will have to be done over again I tore it up and started all over again
More example sentences
  • It wouldn't be necessary to re-try the whole case all over again to determine the question of damages.
  • He said the intense media coverage was victimising her all over again.
  • This season, he has to prove himself all over again.

be over

No longer be affected by: we were over the worst
More example sentences
  • If I can keep it up right through the weekend I reckon I'll be over the worst of it.
  • Wendy has been advised to stay on HRT for only five years, when she should be over her symptoms.
  • Please just strike me down here and now because I am just destined to never be over any of this.

get something over with

Do or undergo something unpleasant or difficult, so as to be rid of it.
Example sentences
  • I just confessed and pled guilty and got it over with.
  • I think he got it over with quickly because he hated auditions, just like me.
  • I am just looking forward to getting it over with.

over against

1Adjacent to: over against the wall
More example sentences
  • A voice called out, telling them to settle down, and they seated themselves on a mismatch of assorted chairs, a couple perching themselves on barrels and bales over against the wall.
  • He spied three familiar figures hunched over against the wall.
  • The bed that was in the center of the room was now over against the left wall.
2In contrast with: over against heaven is hell
More example sentences
  • He sets over against this his own clear spiritual position.
  • The Report could have chosen to speak in the strident tone of the Apocalypse, defining the church over against the whore of Babylon.
  • The Commentary on the Song of Songs points much more in this direction, in that the synagogue and the church are set over against one another as the ‘old Eve’ and the ‘new Eve.’

over and above

In addition to: exceptional service over and above what normally might be expected
More example sentences
  • In fact, he had made a new addition to his daily itinerary over and above what he had been doing before.
  • There are some locations where traffic calming, over and above that provided by the existing laws of the highway, may be desirable.
  • Any money allows us to improve patient comfort or bring in new equipment that is over and above what we would normally buy for ourselves.
in addition to, on top of, over and beyond, plus, as well as, besides, not to mention, along with, let alone

over and done with

Completely finished.
Example sentences
  • The longer this fiasco goes on, then the more shareholders are going to be hurt, so let's get it over and done with as quickly as possible.
  • But all we want to do is get it over and done with and hope that our daughter can go on to lead a normal life.
  • Thank goodness that's all over and done with for another year.

over and over

Again and again: doing the same thing over and over again
More example sentences
  • There is this song repeating itself over and over in my head but I can't get further than a few words.
  • Repeat this over and over at gradually lengthening intervals until your baby goes to sleep.
  • She read the novel over and over.
repeatedly, again and again, over and over again, time and again, time and time again, many times over, on many/several occasions, often, frequently, recurrently, constantly, continually, persistently, regularly, habitually, ad nauseam

over to you

informal Used to say that it is now your turn or responsibility: it’s over to you, the people of Scotland, to decide who should win
More example sentences
  • Anyway, it's over to you now to listen to five of our favorites and pick the one that you fancy the most!
  • The nominees have been suggested by our judging panel but it's over to you to decide who should win.
  • Over to you consumer: vote with your feet.


Old English ofer, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch over and German über, from an Indo-European word (originally a comparative of the element represented by -ove in above) which is also the base of Latin super and Greek huper.

Words that rhyme with over

Canova, Casanova, clover, Dover, drover, Grsbover, Jehovah, left-over, Markova, Moldova, moreover, Navrátilová, nova, ova, Pavlova, rover, trover, up-and-over

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.