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over- +‎ power



overpower (third-person singular simple present overpowers, present participle overpowering, simple past and past participle overpowered)

  1. (transitive) To subdue someone by superior force.
    We overpowered the opposing army within a couple of hours.
    • 2018 October 17, Drachinifel, 25:13 from the start, in Last Ride of the High Seas Fleet - Battle of Texel 1918[1], archived from the original on 4 August 2022:
      Amidst all the chaos, Großer Kurfürst slows up and strikes her colors, her crew having had enough, and have[sic] overpowered the officers - willing to fight, but not willing to commit suicide.
  2. (transitive) To excel or exceed in power; to cause to yield; to subdue.
    Bright light overpowers the eyes.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, translated by H.L. Brækstad, Folk and Fairy Tales, page 86:
      But the shrill wild cry of the heron overpowered the cries of all the other birds, whom it seemed to terrify; they were silent the moment they heard it, and a silence followed which made the interruption doubly unpleasant.
  3. (transitive) To render imperceptible by means of greater strength, intensity, etc.
    The dish was OK, but the garlic slightly overpowered the herbs.
    • 2011 December 15, Felicity Cloake, “How to cook the perfect nut roast”, in Guardian[2]:
      Breadcrumbs seem to be the most popular choice, but Rose Elliot's recipe, in Vegetarian Christmas (as recommended by one of the three nice people who did tweet back, India Knight), doesn't quite convince as the centrepiece of the festive feast. It consists of two layers of ground cashew nuts, mixed with breadcrumbs, onions, nutmeg and vegetable stock, and separated by a vibrant green herb stuffing, the main ingredient of which is also bread. Although surprisingly moist, thanks to the stock (indeed, the contrast between the crisp exterior and the squidgy middle is horribly moreish), the combination of parsley, garlic and breadcrumbs reminds me of a very fancy loaf of garlic bread – and all but overpowers the sweet flavour of the cashews.
  4. (video games, transitive) To make excessively powerful.
    Antonym: nerf
    • 2017 March 10, Adam Smith, “Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is smarter than you’d think”, in Rock Paper Shotgun[3]:
      Rather than overpowering the characters or giving them some kind of slow-mo adrenalin abilities, Bloody Days does the most unexpected thing: it introduces a genuinely smart tactical system.