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 There also were 55 hospitalizations and 17 deaths overnight in the state. Washington Post, "The Latest: Mayo Clinic to end pay cuts, recall workers," 26 June 2020 Clouds will increase overnight as a front pushes into the area from the north. oregonlive, "Portland metro Friday weather: One more day of sunny, warm temps; clouds, rain for weekend," 26 June 2020 Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight. Casey Barber, Better Homes & Gardens, "Road Trip Eats: Recipes Inspired By Route 66," 26 June 2020 Additionally, airlines like United, JetBlue, Hawaiian, Delta, and Southwest have implemented the use of electrostatic antimicrobial sprays to thoroughly disinfect every nook and cranny of the cabin, either overnight or between certain flights. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, "Is It Safe to Fly Right Now? Here's What Experts Have to Say," 25 June 2020 Storms rolled through southeast Texas overnight, and Flood Advisories have been issued for Harris, Matagorda, Brazoia and Galveston counties until 7:45 a.m, according to the National Weather Service. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "High water locations reported after overnight storms in Houston area," 24 June 2020 The picture shows clouds of smoke stretching 63 miles pouring off the fire, which grew overnight to 186,848 acres, growing 2,200 acres overnight. Fox News, "NASA captures 63-mile smoke trail from massive Arizona bush fire," 24 June 2020 An unknown male suspect had entered the business overnight after breaking a window on the side of the building. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Burglar takes cigarettes and alcohol: Westlake Police Blotter," 20 June 2020 Sally Weisdorf didn’t become famous overnight like Sebastian Weisdorf did. Candice Wang, Popular Science, "Anti-Black bias affects just about everyone. What’s the best way to deal with implicit racism?," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Nichols won an Academy Award, Hoffman became an overnight star and the film is often ranked among the greatest, most quoted and talked about of all time. Washington Post, "Charles Webb, author of ‘The Graduate,’ dies in England," 27 June 2020 For part of the pandemic, Amacan stayed in a hotel after her overnight shift at Kaiser to protect her family. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area Filipinos work dangerous front lines of coronavirus fight," 27 June 2020 My partner on the overnight shift had started him on Dilaudid, for the pain, and on oxygen and I.V. fluids, which would help reshape his blood cells. Ricardo Nuila, The New Yorker, "The Coronavirus Surge That Texas Could Have Seen Coming," 26 June 2020 While overnight storms have dominated the forecast this week, Friday’s showers and thunderstorms should taper off by the evening, according to the National Weather Service. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Houston weather: Rain tapering over weekend, expect hot temps next week," 26 June 2020 By the evening, clouds from a new system will begin to build into the area and cooler overnight temperatures are expected. oregonlive, "Portland metro Thursday weather: Clouds to start, then clearing; high 84," 25 June 2020 Democratic state Senator Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee was present for the overnight protests and said he was assaulted after taking a picture, the station reported. Joe Sutton, CNN, "Statues toppled and state senator in an ambulance after overnight protests in Madison, Wisconsin," 24 June 2020 The onboard charger for the I-Pace was upgraded from 7 to 11 kW, which will allow faster overnight home charging from an AC wallbox. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "2021 Jaguar I-Pace Gets Updated Technology, Charging Capabilities," 23 June 2020 Phase four: Programs that require more attention to social distancing, sanitation and staffing, such as birthday parties and overnight events. Nicole Ludden, azcentral, "Arizona Science Center is reopening in downtown Phoenix. Here's what to expect if you go," 20 June 2020 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, "Great Wolf Lodge is giving free overnight stays to nurses," 5 May 2020 The company making Perkins’ ring had reopened and agreed to overnight the ring to the couple via FedEx. Southern Living, "FedEx Driver Saves North Carolina Wedding with Last-Minute Ring Delivery," 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, "Whoops. Facebook deleted this Arizona city's page when it meant to remove a parody account," 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, "How to give your kids stability when coronavirus closes schools," 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, "Deep freeze: Schools closed for snow days in Northeast, subzero temperatures in Midwest," 12 Dec. 2019 Pots of soup and plates of cookies and overnight oats made by hands that are not mine. Jen Mcguire, Good Housekeeping, "I'm an Empty Nester Now, and Truthfully, I Like Christmas Better Now That My Kids Are Grown," 16 Dec. 2019 The National Weather Service says the snow level to drop to 500-1,500 feet overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. oregonlive, "Portland Friday weather: Some rain, spring-like temps; snow possible for Sunday," 31 Jan. 2020 After nearly two decades, the Brussels-to-Vienna overnight train by Austrian Railways (ÖBB) is rolling again. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Flight shame is reviving overnight rail travel in Europe," 26 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the summer season, the park’s log cabins make for a fun overnight option and can be reserved up to a year in advance. Katy Spratte Joyce, Travel + Leisure, "7 Best Midwest Road Trips in the U.S.," 14 June 2020 Italy’s firefighting service, the Vigili del Fuoco, posted a video on Twitter showing one overnight rescue. Fox News, "Firefighters in Italy rescue 3 after car swept away by floodwaters during severe storm," 9 June 2020 At Camp Fire, a nonprofit overnight camp in Granbury, staff was caught off guard by Abbott’s May 18 announcement. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "Pandemic forces summer camps to re-think programming and families to adjust expectations," 2 June 2020 It's made of breathable nylon that dries quickly, so dew and overnight rainfall evaporate quickly. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "The 6 Best Hammocks to Lounge in All Summer Long," 27 May 2020 Portland is sitting under a mild southwesterly flow allowing for warm early morning temps that stuck around 50-55 overnight. oregonlive, "Portland metro Wednesday weather: Mostly cloudy, slight chances for rain late; high 70," 29 Apr. 2020 Temperatures in Milwaukee dropped to 3 below zero overnight with wind chills as low as minus 20, according to the National Weather Service in Sullivan. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Woman dies overnight in unheated home on Milwaukee's southwest side," 14 Feb. 2020 Despite coronavirus risk, this small church north of Detroit stepped up to host the homeless for meals, overnights and this special song at dinner. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Archdiocese of Detroit: Still no meat on Fridays amid coronavirus pandemic — for now," 27 Mar. 2020 To accommodate the loss of train service, the MTA is adding several hundred buses to its typical overnight routes to make sure essential workers have access to transportation. Andy Rose, CNN, "For the first time in its history, New York City deliberately shut down its entire subway system this morning," 6 May 2020

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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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

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overnight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overnight. Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for overnight


How to pronounce overnight (audio)

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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Comments on overnight

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