Definition of overtop in US English:


verbovertopping, overtopped, overtops

[with object]
  • 1Exceed in height.

    ‘no building is allowed to overtop the cathedral’
    • ‘‘Sit down, sit down,’ he growled, for he hated - or pretended to hate-big men to overtop him, even in the more physical matter of height which of course none of us can help.’
    • ‘Wet areas support powerful, fast-growing vegetation that both overtops seedlings in summer and compresses them in fall and winter.’
    • ‘This was used as the base for a large ram moved up under the protection of a wooden shed, or for siege towers designed to overtop the defenders' walls.’
    • ‘The brow of the upland overtops the square tower of the Colebrook Church.’
    • ‘The probability of a more recently established canopy tree of smaller stature overtopping its taller neighbors is low.’
    dominate, tower above, tower over, loom over, overlook, overshadow
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    1. 1.1 (especially of water) rise over the top of (a barrier constructed to hold it back)
      ‘the old sea wall is regularly overtopped by high tides’
      • ‘The wall is designed to prevent waves overtopping the seafront road but Scarborough Civic Society and the Sons of Neptune environmental group say it is clear from their own consultant's report the wall is not needed.’
      • ‘I have never seen so much water overtopping a dam.’
      • ‘Water overtopped the levee of the industrial canal and poured into the lower Ninth Ward, reflooding it for the second time in three weeks.’
      • ‘A police spokesman said there was a risk of the River Ouse overtopping its banks at Cawood when the swollen river peaked this evening.’
      • ‘At Andover the River Anton has overtopped its banks and there are scores of roads across the south blocked by flooding.’
      top, cap, tip, head, surmount
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    2. 1.2archaic Be superior to.
      ‘none can overtop him in goodness’
      • ‘His great contemporaries undoubtedly overtopped him in popularity.’
      • ‘Who are they to overtop their fellows?’
      overlook, command, tower above, tower over, stand over, project over, jut over, hang over, loom over, dwarf, overshadow, overhang
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