One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1with object To shine over or upon, to illuminate. Now rare (chiefly poetic).
2with object To shine more brightly than, to outshine.
Old English; earliest use found in The Blickling Homilies. Cognate with or formed similarly to Middle Dutch overscinen (Dutch overschijnen), Middle Low German ȫverschīnen, Old High German ubarskīnan (Middle High German überschīnen, German überscheinen) from the Germanic base of over- + the Germanic base of shine.
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