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From Middle English overweȝen; equivalent to over- +‎ weigh. First known attestation in the Ancrene Wisse ("luue ouerweið hit").



overweigh (third-person singular simple present overweighs, present participle overweighing, simple past and past participle overweighed)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To exceed in weight, outweigh; to preponderate; to weigh down.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], 2nd edition, part 1, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene i:
      And when the princely Perſean Diadem,
      Shall ouerweigh his wearie witleſſe head,
      And fall like mellowed fruit, with ſhakes of death,
      In faire Perſea noble Tamburlain
      Shall be my Regent, and remaine as King:
    • c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene iv]:
      My unsoil’d name, the austereness of my life, / My vouch against you, and my place i’ the state, / Will so your accusation overweigh, / That you shall stifle in your own report, / And smell of calumny.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, →OCLC:
      I beg permission to have a few witnesses examined concerning my character, and if their testimony shall not overweigh my supposed guilt, I must be condemned, although I would pledge my salvation on my innocence.