WordReference English-Spanish Dictionary © 2014:

Principal Translations
vencer vtrverbo transitivo: Verbo que requiere de un objeto directo ("di la verdad", "encontré una moneda"). (ganarle a alguien)  (military)defeat, vanquish vtrtransitive verb: Verb taking a direct object--for example, "Say something." "She found the cat."
   (Sport)beat, defeat vtrtransitive verb: Verb taking a direct object--for example, "Say something." "She found the cat."
  overcome vtrtransitive verb: Verb taking a direct object--for example, "Say something." "She found the cat."
   (controlar)control vtrtransitive verb: Verb taking a direct object--for example, "Say something." "She found the cat."
 El nadador venció a su rival en la carrera de 100 metros mariposa.
 The swimmer beat (or: defeated) his rival in the 100m butterfly.
vencer viverbo intransitivo: Verbo que no requiere de un objecto directo (Él no llegó", "corrí a casa"). (ganar en algo)win, be victorious viintransitive verb: Verb not taking a direct object--for example, "She jokes." "He has arrived."
 El equipo de la Universidad venció en el campeonato intercentros.
 The University team won (or: was victorious) in the league championship.
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WordReference English-Spanish Dictionary © 2014:

Compound Forms:
antes de vencer el plazo before the expiration date
un duro escollo que vencer a hard trial to overcome, a hard row to hoe
vencer el miedo overcome the fear
vencer el vértigo overcome vertigo
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