Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “overflow”

overflow

verb uk   /ˌəʊ.vəˈfləʊ/ us    /ˌoʊ.vɚˈfloʊ/

overflow verb (TOO FULL)

C2 [I or T] When a liquid overflows, it flows over the edges of a container, etc. because there is too much of it: The milk overflowed when I poured it into the jug. Because of heavy rain, the river may overflow its banks. [I or T] If a container or a place overflows, whatever is inside it starts coming out because it is too full: Oh no, the bath is overflowing all over the floor. The bin was overflowing with rubbish. C2 [I] When a place overflows, or people or things overflow from somewhere, some people or things have to come out because it cannot contain them all: The bar was so full that people were overflowing into/onto the street. The train was (full to) overflowing (= so full that there was not space for any more passengers). His room is overflowing with books. to overflowing so that water or another substance is almost coming over the top: Someone has filled the bath (full) to overflowing.

overflow verb (EMOTIONS)

C2 [I] If you overflow with thoughts or feelings, you express them strongly: They were (full to) overflowing with emotion at the birth of their baby. Suddenly, her anger overflowed.

overflow

noun uk   /ˈəʊ.və.fləʊ/ us    /ˈoʊ.vɚ.floʊ/

overflow noun (AMOUNT)

[S or U] an amount of liquid or number of people that cannot fit in a space: I put a bucket underneath to catch the overflow from the water tank. We can't cope with this overflow of patients from the other hospitals.

overflow noun (PIPE)

[C] (also overflow pipe) a pipe that carries away water that is not needed
(Definition of overflow from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of overflow?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Full, but you might be interested in these topics from the Full and empty topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “overflow” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

bright spark

a person who is intelligent, and full of energy and enthusiasm

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More