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over- +‎ grow


overgrow (third-person singular simple present overgrows, present participle overgrowing, simple past overgrew, past participle overgrown)

  1. (intransitive) To grow beyond one's boundaries or containment, or beyond the proper size.
  2. (transitive) To grow over; (of one thing) to cause (a second thing) to become overgrown (with or by the first thing).
    • 1886, Edward Meyrick Goulburn, Meditations upon the liturgical gospels for the minor festivals, page 28:
      The utmost they aimed at doing was thoroughly to clear the old Church of all the corruptions and superstitions which had disfigured it in the course of ages, and which, like the flaunting ivy overgrowing some ancient building [...]
    • 2002, James Morrison, Broken Fever: Reflections of Gay Boyhood, page 196:
      One wall advertised a dense muddle of ivy overgrowing its prefab brick, while a miniature moat with a jerry-built bridge arcing over it snaked around one of the "halls" (as real universities dub their constituent structures).
    • 2008, J. R. Ward, Lover Enshrined:
      "If there is ivy overgrowing things, then we shall clean it up."