Meaning of “overcome” in the English Dictionary

"overcome" in British English

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uk /ˌəʊ.vəˈkʌm/ us /ˌoʊ.vɚˈkʌm/ overcame, overcome

overcome verb (DEAL WITH)

B2 [ I or T ] to defeat or succeed in controlling or dealing with something:

Juventus overcame Ajax in a thrilling game.
to overcome difficulties/obstacles/problems/resistance
Eventually she managed to overcome her shyness in class.
20,000 demonstrators sang "We shall overcome" as they marched through Washington.

More examples

  • Their resolute opposition to new working methods was difficult to overcome.
  • The plan was designed to help women and minorities overcome discrimination in the workplace.
  • He overcame all obstacles in his path to the top.
  • What are the prospects for overcoming the strife between the Christian minority and Muslim majority?
  • This film reveals their resourcefulness in overcoming appalling weather and treacherous terrain.

(Definition of “overcome” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"overcome" in American English

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us /ˌoʊ·vərˈkʌm/ past tense overcame /ˌoʊ·vərˈkeɪm/ , past participle overcome

overcome verb (DEAL WITH)

[ I/T ] to defeat or succeed in controlling or dealing with something:

[ T ] I eventually overcame my shyness in class.
[ I ] I believe that we will overcome in the end.

overcome verb (UNABLE TO ACT)

[ T ] to prevent someone from being able to act or think in the usual way:

He was overcome by smoke before he could get out of the apartment.

(Definition of “overcome” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)