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- Verb senses:
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əʊvəˈswɛl/
Audio (Berkshire, England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌoʊvɚˈswɛl/
- Rhymes: -ɛl
- Noun senses:
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈəʊvəswɛl/
Audio (Berkshire, England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈoʊvɚˌswɛl/
overswell (third-person singular simple present overswells, present participle overswelling, simple past and past participle overswelled)
- (transitive, intransitive) To swell or rise above (something, especially the rim of a container, the sides of something hollow, etc.).
- Synonyms: overflow, spill over
- In some years the river overswells its banks, causing widespread flooding.
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
- Let floods o’erswell, and fiends for food howl on!
- 1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
- Fill, Lucius, till the wine o’erswell the cup;
- 1636, Thomas Heywood, Loves Maistresse, London: John Crowch, Act I, Scene 1,
- Come, you have made mee resolute and bould,
- And now receive your lapps ore-swell’d with gold.
- 1768, Ignatius Sancho, letter to Mr. M—, in Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, London: J. Nichols, 3rd edition, 1784, p. 13,
- […] the heart gratefully throbbing—overswelled with thankful sensations—
- 1835, John Clare, “Decay”, in The Rural Muse, London: Whittaker, page 60:
- When mushrooms they were fairy bowers,
Their marble pillars over-swelling,
- 1942, G. L. Steer, chapter 2, in Sealed and Delivered,, London: Hodder and Stoughton, page 14:
- […] then Badoglio and his staff [went by] looking rather big for their cars, like the necks of bookmakers overswelling their collars;
- (transitive, intransitive) To cause (something) to be too swollen or large; to become too swollen or large.
- 1729, Jonathan Swift, “Maxims Controlled in Ireland”, in The Works of Dr. Jonathan Swift, volume 15, London: W. Johnston, published 1765, page 243:
- […] the rents of lands still grew higher upon every lease that expired, till they have arrived at the present exorbitance; when the frog, overswelling himself, burst at last.
- 1885, Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, The Burton Club, Volume 1, Translator’s Foreward, p. xvi,
- My annotations avoid only one subject, parallels of European folk-lore and fabliaux which, however interesting, would overswell the bulk of a book whose speciality is anthropology.
- 1923, Proceedings of the World’s Dairy Congress, Volume 1, Session 7, p. 289,
- A frequent difficulty in the manufacture of Emmental cheese in America, and perhaps elsewhere, is a tendency for the cheese to overswell.
- 1998, Pamela Norris, chapter 10, in Eve: A Biography, New York: New York University Press, page 322:
- [The monster’s] ungrateful progeny rush to gorge on her blood, but it overswells their bellies and they literally burst to death.
overswell (plural overswells)
- An excessive or sudden increase or flood (of something).
- Synonym: surge
- 1978, Constance Backhouse; Leah Cohen, chapter 3, in The Secret Oppression: Sexual Harassment of Working Women, Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, page 54:
- [The trial] drew a crowd […] that almost stormed the City Hall corridors. Three policement were needed to keep back the overswell.
- 1983, Kenneth A. McClane, “From a Silent Center” in A Tree Beyond Telling, San Francisco: Black Scholar Press, p. 31,
- when no Jihad / opens the conceived / to distention, the reedy creek / to overswells / of mudwallow:
- 1997, David Njoku, Eve, Lagos: True Tales Publication, page 53:
- I could feel that my overswell of emotions had communicated itself to him.
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