over·​night | \ ˌō-vər-ˈnīt How to pronounce overnight (audio) \

Definition of overnight

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : on the evening before
b : during the night stayed away overnight
2 : very quickly or suddenly became famous overnight



Definition of overnight (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : of, lasting, or staying the night
2 : sudden, rapid an overnight sensation
3 : traveling during the night an overnight train
4a : accomplished by a mail service within one day's time overnight delivery
b : delivered within one day's time overnight mail


\ ˈō-vər-ˌnīt How to pronounce overnight (audio) , ˌō-vər-ˈnīt How to pronounce overnight (audio) \
overnighted; overnighting; overnights

Definition of overnight (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to stay overnight

transitive verb

: to send (something, such as a package or letter) by a mail service for delivery within one day's time


over·​night | \ ˈō-vər-ˌnīt How to pronounce overnight (audio) \

Definition of overnight (Entry 4 of 4)

: an overnight stay

Examples of overnight in a Sentence


He stayed overnight and went home the next day. Let the paint dry overnight. The novel made her famous overnight.


They went on an overnight bus trip. Overnight guests are not allowed in the dormitory. The show was an overnight success.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

June 14, 2015 After the murder, according to People, Gypsy and Godejohn stayed overnight at his motel in Springfield, before catching a bus to his home in Big Bend, Wisconsin on June 14. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of Dee Dee Blanchard's Murder and Gypsy Blanchard's Trial," 3 Apr. 2019 Getty Imagesoneworld picture The public can actually visit and stay overnight in this castle as well. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Harry and Meghan Reportedly Vacationed With Charles and Camilla in Scotland," 22 Aug. 2018 Stay overnight and wake up in the perfect place to kayak, hike, or look for Katmai bear. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The Food Adventures We Covet Most," 5 July 2018 In January, the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., reported that some Walmart stores in Oregon’s Willamette Valley would no longer allow people to stay overnight in RVs, vans or cars. Fox News, "Tragedy in Walmart parking lot hardly a first for retailer," 11 Apr. 2018 Although about 50 students took part in the protest over the three days in January, only a handful stayed overnight and administrators managed to get identification numbers from only six of them. Diana Lambert, sacbee, "UC Davis allowed takeover for weeks in 2016. Students now face discipline after 3 days | The Sacramento Bee," 11 Apr. 2018 While most anime conventions have K-pop or J-pop performances, Anime Midwest will host more than a dozen live bands from different genres, including hard rock and Vocaloid (computerized voice synthesizer), along with two overnight EDM raves. Savannah Eadens, chicagotribune.com, "Cosplay and manga reign, as Anime Midwest comes to Rosemont," 6 July 2018 Law-enforcement officials reviewed video recordings of what happened in the cell overnight, the report said. Matt Stevens, The Seattle Times, "Threatened with loss of family, Honduran man kills himself in Texas jail," 10 June 2018 Law enforcement officials reviewed video recordings of what happened in the cell overnight, the report said. Jeffery C. Mays, BostonGlobe.com, "Honduran man kills himself after threat of family separation at border," 10 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But actually, the beauty world has been abuzz about the latest (and possibly most convenient) skin and hair saving product category: the overnight mask. Teen Vogue, "These 10 Overnight Masks Will Help Elevate Your Beauty Sleep," 13 Mar. 2019 Not even overnight maintenance crews, curators or custodial workers. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "An empty US Capitol after McCain’s death is sobering reminder that the clock is ticking," 28 Aug. 2018 London Knights remain the overall leaders of the Global Champions League, improving on their 16th place after the first round to fifth after a strategic overnight change of horse and rider. Danielle Rossingh, CNN, "Harrie Smolders clinches first win of season in Hamburg," 13 May 2018 And, as if to add insult to injury, two tornadoes touched down this weekend, one near the Clermont County village of Felicity and another near the village of Hamersville in Brown County overnight Saturday. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati flooding: 'The event is not over' Hamilton County emergency official declares," 25 Feb. 2018 To make the romantic holiday special, Alyssa Mullin, who heads guest services at the spa, recommends Sundara’s Midweek Escape, which starts at $219 for two and includes an overnight stay, breakfast and access to the spa facilities. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 hotels for a Valentine's Day getaway in Wisconsin," 2 Feb. 2018 Or listen to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist who became the left’s overnight sensation after deposing longtime Rep. Joe Crowley in a stunning primary in June. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Listen to the Democratic Left," 15 Aug. 2018 To the casual observer, McCarthy may seem like an overjoyed overnight sensation. David A. Keeps, Good Housekeeping, "Funny Girl: Exclusive Interview with Melissa McCarthy," 6 Nov. 2012 The overnight rally in U.S. markets, supported by strong corporate earnings, extended the benchmark S&P 500 index’s winning streak to five days. Elaine Kurtenbach, The Seattle Times, "Asian shares higher following strong gains on Wall Street," 5 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Donald Trump has got to go’’ were heard near the Pfister Hotel, where Trump overnighted and attended a pair of closed-door campaign events before heading to the groundbreaking and tour of an existing Foxconn facility. BostonGlobe.com, "In Wisconsin, Trump highlights economic policies," 28 June 2018 The increase was thanks to a 2.3 percent bump in international visits, which offset a 0.5 percent decrease in the number of domestic travelers who overnighted in Miami. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Despite Irma, Miami tourism grew in 2017. Will Asia flights make 2018 even better? | Miami Herald," 1 May 2018 Mariah Carey, Clint Eastwood and Naomi Campbell have rumored to have overnighted at the sprawling One&Only Cape Town, which is notoriously tight-lipped on famous guests. Kathryn Romeyn, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Hollywood Does Cape Town," 17 Apr. 2018 Doctors in Miami had overnighted two small vials of stem cells to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Stem cells could boost this Maryland baby's heart and chance for a normal life," 9 Mar. 2018 And some will choose to overnight inside the preserve, at one of the wilderness lodges in the Kantishna area, a six-hour, 90-mile rough ride from the entrance. Andrew Sessa, Condé Nast Traveler, "Sheldon Chalet Is the Most Luxe Way to Experience Alaska’s Denali National Park," 27 Feb. 2018 FRAUD A Friendswood woman found two fraudulent charges-for two boxes of checks overnighted to an address in Shreveport, Louisiana-on her bank account, according to a Jan. 18 police report. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood police: Second suspect nabbed in liquor store holdup," 29 Jan. 2018 Wind chill temperatures could be as low as 10 degrees overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning in New Orleans. Marie Simoneaux, NOLA.com, "Snow, sleet possible in New Orleans on Tuesday," 15 Jan. 2018 Nelson said the Iditarod overnights the samples to a lab and receives results in 48 to 72 hours. Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Dispatch News, "After several 2017 Iditarod sled dogs test positive for a ‘prohibited substance,’ race changes its rules," 10 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With or without the overnight, the volunteer shift is worth it. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Hosts Sleepovers, So You Can Hang Out with a Pet Before Adopting It," 18 Apr. 2019 The red circle is the source of our overnight and early-morning rain. Greg Porter, Washington Post, "PM Update: Scattered showers early, with more widespread rain overnight. Wet start to Monday; some clearing late.," 10 June 2018 Yields, which rise when bond prices fall, ticked higher overnight and were ultimately... Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "Treasurys Edge Lower Despite Tepid Housing Data," 14 Mar. 2019 The overnight and early morning models suggest this may be the case overall today. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: More rain may lead to an increased flooding risk today," 18 May 2018 The Fed is widely expected to lift the overnight rate by 0.25 percentage point on Wednesday to a range between 2.25% and 2.5%. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Borrowers See Rates Rise Unevenly Ahead of Fed’s Move," 19 Dec. 2018 The blaze near Yosemite's west end doubled in size overnight to 14 square miles (36 kilometers). Fox News, "The Latest: Yosemite remains open as wildfire burn nearby," 16 July 2018 Choosing the right trail for your first overnight can be daunting. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "How to Choose a Trip for Your First Backpacking Experience," 11 Nov. 2018 The only way to reserve a spot in advance is by booking the Table 55 Suite package, which includes an overnight in the hotel’s Fifth Avenue Suite, dinner for two at the only bookable table in the bar (Table 55), and a slew of other perks. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "The Best Room At...The St. Regis New York," 7 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overnight.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of overnight


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1824, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1891, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


1959, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overnight

Statistics for overnight

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overnight

The first known use of overnight was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for overnight



English Language Learners Definition of overnight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: for or during the entire night
: very quickly or suddenly



English Language Learners Definition of overnight (Entry 2 of 2)

: happening, traveling, or staying during the night
: happening very quickly or suddenly


over·​night | \ ˌō-vər-ˈnīt How to pronounce overnight (audio) \

Kids Definition of overnight

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : during or through the night Can I stay overnight?
2 : very quickly or suddenly He became famous overnight.



Kids Definition of overnight (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : done or lasting through the night an overnight journey
2 : staying for the night an overnight guest
3 : for use on short trips an overnight bag
4 : happening very quickly or suddenly an overnight success

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on overnight

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overnight

Spanish Central: Translation of overnight

Nglish: Translation of overnight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overnight for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overnight

What made you want to look up overnight? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


highly pertinent or appropriate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!