When something is overarching, it affects or includes everything. While your novel touches on a lot of subjects and ideas, its overarching theme is the importance of friendship.

When it's used figuratively, this adjective describes a quality that influences every single part of something. You can say that your club's overarching interest is the outdoors, or that the overarching goal of your school is to give everyone a solid STEM education. Overarching also literally means "forming an arch shape over something," like the overarching grape vines you pass beneath to enter your friend's garden.

Definitions of overarching
  1. adjective
    forming an arch over or above something
  2. adjective
    including all or everything
    synonyms: comprehensive
    having every necessary or normal part or component or step
    across-the-board, all-embracing, all-encompassing, all-inclusive, blanket, broad, encompassing, extensive, panoptic, sweeping, wide
    broad in scope or content
    all-around, all-round, well-rounded
    occurring or extending throughout a city
    occurring or extending throughout a county
    countrywide, nationwide
    occurring or extending throughout a country or nation
    cosmopolitan, ecumenical, general, oecumenical, universal, world-wide, worldwide
    of worldwide scope or applicability
    door-to-door, house-to-house
    omitting no one; from the door of one house to that of the next
    encyclopaedic, encyclopedic
    broad in scope or content
    having broad power and range and scope
    providing for many things at once
    full in all respects
    spaciotemporal, spatiotemporal
    existing in both space and time; having both spatial extension and temporal duration
    occurring or extending throughout a school
    occurring or extending throughout a state
    including more than a specified category
    covering or applying simultaneously to a number of similar items or elements or groups
    applying to all or most members of a category or group
    broad, wide
    having great (or a certain) extent from one side to the other
    see moresee less
    incomprehensive, noncomprehensive
    not comprehensive
    including only a part
    show more antonyms...
Word Family

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