over·​night | \ ˌō-vər-ˈnīt \

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 , ˌō-vər-ˈnīt \
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 \

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

True Botanicals’ new and natural overnight mask provides a surge of hyaluronic acid and mango butter for better-looking skin by morning. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "13 New Beauty Products Worth the Hype in 2019," 9 Jan. 2019 Water during the day, not in the evenings when the foliage will stay wet overnight, which sets up the perfect environment for fungal diseases to take hold. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "How to Grow Lily Flowers," 1 Aug. 2018 The month-long cryptocurrency slide continued overnight with ether, the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, falling below $100 for the first time since May 2017. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Ethereum falls below $100—down 93 percent from its January high," 6 Dec. 2018 Another one, the the Over Zit Spot Patches, can be slapped on over a pesky blemish overnight to absorb excess fluid and keep that smeary spot treatment from ending up on your pillow. Sophie Wirt, Allure, "Clear & Clear Quietly Launches C&C, Its New Millennial-Targeted Skin-Care Line," 21 July 2018 Stay overnight with a choice of downtown hotels that offer destination charging. Ben Abramson, USA TODAY, "Yes, you can take electric cars on long road trips," 29 May 2018 Traffic delays are possible overnight in Southwest Fulton County with construction expected to begin at 10 p.m. State transportation crews will work on Camp Creek Parkway SW between Fulton Industrial Boulevard and the Douglas County line. Zachary Hansen, ajc, "Shaky Knees opening day should bring heavy traffic, sunny skies," 4 May 2018 Guy Thomas photographed the often violent protests, gathering overnight with other photographers to develop their images and hang them in the morning so that Parisians could find out what had happened the night before. Samuel Petrequin, The Christian Science Monitor, "In marches against Macron, French protesters recall movements of 1968," 2 May 2018 New moms at Grant Thornton can pump while on business trips and have the milk shipped overnight to their babies in Kansas City. Rick Montgomery, chicagotribune.com, "What companies want: millennials. What they’re offering: massages, student loan help," 1 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Rent became an overnight cultural sensation that ran for 12 years on Broadway and enjoyed 5,123 performances, making it the eleventh-longest running Broadway show. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "'Rent' Composer Jonathan Larson's Legacy Lives On," 25 Jan. 2019 Yet Ohashi is much more than an overnight social media sensation. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "5 Things to Know About Katelyn Ohashi, the UCLA Gymnast Whose Floor Routine Just Went Viral," 15 Jan. 2019 Any youth on the phone must, by definition, be interested in Santa's overnight whereabouts. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "JFK Once Wrote a Sweet Letter to a Child Reassuring Her About Santa's Safety," 26 Dec. 2018 Everything was a struggle: His sister works the overnight shift at a hospital for $350 a month. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "Going home after half a lifetime," 30 May 2018 Travel-wise, consider those dreaded, uncomfortable overnight flights that send you into a jet lag spiral a thing of the past. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Why an Around-the-World Private Jet Trip is the Only Way to Fly," 17 Aug. 2018 Chen Wei and her brother-in-law Xing Yong arrived in Phuket on Saturday afternoon after an overnight flight from Chongqing, and later identified the body of Chen De Qiong, which had been retrieved earlier in the day at a Phuket hospital. Fox News, "Family of Thailand boat disaster victims seeks 'justice'," 7 July 2018 Chen Wei and her brother-in-law Xing Yong arrived in Phuket on Saturday afternoon after an overnight flight from Chongqing, and later identified the body of Chen De Qiong, which had been retrieved earlier in the day at a Phuket hospital. Washington Post, "Family of Thai boat disaster victims reveals ominous video," 7 July 2018 Here, nine overnight solutions designed to maximize your beauty sleep and solve complexion woes—wrinkles, dullness, dark spots, and more!—by morning. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "9 Overnight Skin Solutions for a Solstice Beauty Sleep," 21 Dec. 2018

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

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 Leave it on for 30 minutes or overnight for the best results to maintain the quality of your hair. Good Housekeeping, "12 Ways You're Ruining Your Dyed Hair," 31 Aug. 2017 The search, however, did not happen overnight and reasons for that weren’t immediately clear. Jon Gambrell, The Seattle Times, "Pompeo lands in Turkey as probe into Khashoggi case heats up," 17 Oct. 2018 Its influence will be waning, though, as a cold front approaches from the northwest overnight and moves into our area Thursday. Tom Skilling, chicagotribune.com, "Weakening high pressure gives way to increasing chances of rain," 6 June 2018 European, if their elephant print pants, heaping backpacks, and dog-eared copies of Lonely Planet are to be believed—have come to fuel up before catching their dirt-cheap overnight train to Chiang Mai. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Loud, Crowded, Grease-Stained, and Gloriously Drunk: Where the World Eats After Hours," 8 Oct. 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.

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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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Statistics for overnight

Last Updated

4 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overnight

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

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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 \

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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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).


to deny responsibility for

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