overawe

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From over- +‎ awe.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

overawe (third-person singular simple present overawes, present participle overawing, simple past and past participle overawed)

  1. (transitive) To restrain, subdue, or control by awe; to cow. [from 16th c.]
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, King Henry VI, part 1:
      None doe you like, but an effeminate Prince, Whom like a Schoole-boy you may ouer-awe.
    • 1849, Herman Melville, Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Volume I, ch. 57:
      His free and easy carriage evinced, that though acknowledging my assumptions, he was no way overawed by them; treating me as familiarly, indeed, as if I were a mere mortal, one of the abject generation of mushrooms.
    • 2000, Alasdair Gray, The Book of Prefaces, Bloomsbury 2002, p. 61:
      He kept the biggest estates, and where he lacked troops to overawe the natives he evicted the natives and made a game reserve.

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