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.Movement of liquids [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.Movement of liquids 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.Too much and unnecessary to overflowing so that water or another substance is almost coming over the top: Someone has filled the bath (full) to overflowing.Full

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.Expressing and showing feelings

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.Movement of liquidsToo much and unnecessary

overflow noun (PIPE)

[C] (also overflow pipe) a pipe that carries away water that is not neededPlumbing and pipes and sewage
(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

underarm

(done by) moving the arm below shoulder level

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More