conquer : 侧重战胜和控制。书面用词。
- The Spanish conquered the New World in the 16th century.
- The English were conquered by the Normans in 1066.
- He has finally conquered his fear of spiders.
- It may be many years before this dreadful disease is conquered.
overcome : 多指战胜或克服非物质的东西，如困难和不良习惯等。语气较弱也可指在斗争或竞争中战胜或压倒对方。
- Juventus overcame Ajax in a thrilling game.
- to overcome difficulties/obstacles/problems/resistance
- Eventually she managed to overcome her shyness in class.
- 20,000 demonstrators sang "We shall overcome" as they marched through Washington.
overthrow : 指彻底击败对手，使其丧失力量和地位。
- He said that Allende's government in Chile was overthrown by the army and the CIA in 1973.
- The president was overthrown in a military coup.
- That government was overthrown in a military coup three years ago.
defeat : 普通用词，多指在战争、比赛、竞选或辩论中战胜对手，侧重胜利的暂时性。
- Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo.
- They defeated the Italian team and reached the final.
- He defeated the champion in three sets.
beat : 口笔语均可用，可与defeat换用。
- Simon always beats me at tennis.
- Holland beat Belgium (by) 3–1.
- The Miami Heat beat the Pacers 95-90/by five points.
- Our team was comfortably/easily/soundly beaten in the first round of the competition.
- The Nationalists were narrowly beaten in the election.
- He beat me fair and square (= without cheating).
- They were beaten hands down (= completely) by their opponents.
- She has beaten her own record of three minutes ten seconds.
subdue : 正式用词，与conquer同义，但强调失败后的臣服状态；也可用作借喻，表克制、压抑感情、欲望等。
- Troops were called in to subdue the rebels.
- Senior government officials admit they have not been able to subdue the rebels.
- The fire burned for eight hours before the fire crews could subdue it.
- He criticized the school for trying to subdue individual expression.