Meaning of “overflow” in the English Dictionary

"overflow" in English

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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 sink 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.
His room is overflowing with books.
UK The train was full to overflowing (= so full that there was not space for any more passengers).
to overflowing

so that water or another substance is almost coming over the top:

Someone had filled the sink to overflowing.
UK The sink was full to overflowing.


uk /ˈəʊ.və.fləʊ/ us /ˈoʊ.vɚ.floʊ/

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

"overflow" in American English

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overflowverb [ I/T ]

us /ˌoʊ·vərˈfloʊ/

(of a liquid) to flow over the edges of a container because there is too much, or to contain more of something than can be held:

[ T ] Because of the heavy rains, the river overflowed its banks.
[ I ] The sink quickly overflowed, flooding the room.
[ I ] The train platform was overflowing with passengers.

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