Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

overcome - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] overcome pronunciation in American English /ˌoʊvərˈkʌm/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleovercoming
past tenseovercame
past participleovercome
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to succeed in dealing with or controlling a problem
    Jimmy overcame his difficulties to graduate.
    What can I do to overcome my fear of rejection?
  2. 2
    to defeat someone or something
    Sampras finally overcame Agassi in the fifth set.
  3. 3
    [usually passive] to make someone very emotional, weak, sick, or unconscious
    Exhaustion finally overcame her and she collapsed.
    be overcome by something: Two men died when they were overcome by fumes from the fire.
    be overcome with emotion/excitement/horror etc.: The entire family was overcome with grief.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog