verb over·come \ˌō-vər-ˈkəm\

: to defeat (someone or something)

: to successfully deal with or gain control of (something difficult)

: to affect (someone) very strongly or severely


Full Definition of OVERCOME

transitive verb
:  to get the better of :  surmount <overcome difficulties>
:  overwhelm
intransitive verb
:  to gain the superiority :  win
over·com·er noun

Origin of OVERCOME

Middle English, from Old English ofercuman, from ofer over + cuman to come
First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of OVERCOME

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of <Caesar conquered Gaul>. vanquish implies a complete overpowering <vanquished the enemy and ended the war>. defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals <the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas>. subdue implies a defeating and suppression <subdued the native tribes after years of fighting>. reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender <the city was reduced after a month-long siege>. overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle <overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks>. overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power <violently overthrew the old regime>.
OVERCOME Defined for Kids


verb over·come \ˌō-vər-ˈkəm\
over·came \-ˈkām\overcomeover·com·ing

Definition of OVERCOME for Kids

:  to win a victory over :  conquer <Soldiers overcame the enemy.>
:  to gain control of through great effort <He overcame his fear of heights.>
:  to cause to lose physical ability or emotional control <Firefighters were overcome by smoke.> <The family was overcome by grief.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: overcomeerPrevious Word in the Dictionary: overcoilerAll Words Near: overcome
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears