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

Adverb He stayed overnight and went home the next day. Let the paint dry overnight. The novel made her famous overnight. Adjective They went on an overnight bus trip. Overnight guests are not allowed in the dormitory. The show was an overnight success.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Valley Metro has been testing the vehicles overnight since early April on the light rail line in Phoenix and at its maintenance yard. Paulina Pineda, The Arizona Republic, 4 June 2021 Motorists can expect single-lane closures at 7 p.m., with double lane closures overnight at 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. Cameron Goodnight, baltimoresun.com, 4 June 2021 Those near Lane County may not see any rain overnight. oregonlive, 4 June 2021 While vaccination rates are increasing, business leaders need to keep in mind that recovery won’t happen overnight. Andrew Duguay, Forbes, 3 June 2021 Perry was arrested and taken to a local hospital for evaluation where he was held overnight pending his arraignment in Cambridge District Court, set for Thursday. BostonGlobe.com, 3 June 2021 There was a massive police presence in the area surrounding the incident overnight and into Thursday morning as various law enforcement agencies responded to the scene. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 3 June 2021 In April, almost a year into his internship, Pandya had a patient with asthma and sleep apnea who received medication overnight to help his breathing. Theresa Gaffney, STAT, 2 June 2021 Both recognize that change will not happen overnight. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective An overnight schedule Sunday through Wednesday while crews close and detour the ramp from Route 40 to the Interstate 695 outer loop between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day. Cameron Goodnight, baltimoresun.com, 4 June 2021 Aiden’s generation went from almost no participation in the stock market to overnight dominance of it. Joshua Brown, Fortune, 2 June 2021 Days are often warm and pleasant, while overnight temperatures can still sometimes dip below freezing. Matthew Young, chicagotribune.com, 23 Mar. 2021 The rain system will keep daytime temperatures in the 50s, with overnight temperatures dipping into the 40s, Murdock said. Tatiana Sanchez, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Mar. 2021 By Wednesday, highs will be in the upper 40s to the low 50s, but overnight temperatures will dip into the 20s. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, 15 Feb. 2021 Highs are expected be above freezing over the weekend, but overnight temperatures through Saturday are expected to drop into the mid-20s. oregonlive, 12 Feb. 2021 Following weekend temperatures that saw overnight temperatures in the low 30s in the interior Bay Area, with light snow on the higher peaks of Monterey County, and a soggy, cold Sunday, another rainy weekend is likely to follow the week. Vanessa Arredondo, SFChronicle.com, 24 Jan. 2021 Not all of the ski terrain was open either – but Mother Nature, not the pandemic, was to blame for that, with overnight temperatures too warm for snowmaking and only a few inches of natural snow on the ground. Susan Glaser, cleveland, 14 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For every room booked May 4-12 for stays between July 6 and Oct. 29, 2020, using the code THANKYOU, guests will get up to 50% off standard room rates and Great Wolf will donate one overnight stay to a nurse. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 May 2020 The company making Perkins’ ring had reopened and agreed to overnight the ring to the couple via FedEx. Southern Living, 21 Apr. 2020 Fed up, last week the Bullhead City attorney overnighted a letter to the social media behemoth, making a more official request for Facebook to do something. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, 2 Mar. 2020 And then there are the teachers, whose own well-being has been tested by their school systems’ overnight transition to online instruction. Jenny Anderson, Quartz, 9 Mar. 2020 Freezing rain was possible over parts of the Central/Southern Appalachians overnight Thursday into Friday, the National Weather Service said. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, 12 Dec. 2019 Pots of soup and plates of cookies and overnight oats made by hands that are not mine. Jen Mcguire, Good Housekeeping, 16 Dec. 2019 The National Weather Service says the snow level to drop to 500-1,500 feet overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. oregonlive, 31 Jan. 2020 After nearly two decades, the Brussels-to-Vienna overnight train by Austrian Railways (ÖBB) is rolling again. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, 26 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Volunteers began collaborating when senior families learned 2021 would be the second consecutive year that Grad Night, a previous graduation overnight event, would not be held during the COVID-19 pandemic. Karie Angell Luc, chicagotribune.com, 24 May 2021 Finally, the ship will sail Sept. 17 from Southampton on a 14-night roundtrip voyage with stops to Dublin, Ireland; Isafjordur and Akureyri, Iceland, with an overnight in Reykjavik; and visits to Geiranger, Olden, and Stavanger, Norway. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, 10 May 2021 After that, the dough can rest on the counter until ready to shape and proof — at least a few hours, but up to overnight is fine. New York Times, 3 May 2021 The private, split-level suite comes with one king bed, a stunning living room area complete with two fireplaces, a kitchenette stocked with everything guests need for an overnight, and a bathroom with a tub overlooking the wild landscape outside. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 20 Apr. 2021 Rock & roll later saved Johnson from his dead-end job as an overnight (10 p.m. to 9 a.m.) worker on the factory floor at a warehouse in his hometown. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 30 Apr. 2021 Following a seasonable overnight, an 80-degree day is on the way tomorrow. Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2021 However, the audit found that the bulk of suicide threats and psychiatric events happen in the evening and overnight, when the crisis intervention team is not on duty. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Apr. 2021 Brittany was working a string of fourteen-hour overnight shifts when Boston’s schools closed. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 20 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Learn More About overnight

Time Traveler for overnight

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overnight

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overnight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overnight. Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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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


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