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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Forecasts are indicating that any storms overnight will likely be out of the area by sunrise Friday, Stumpf said, allowing temperatures to rise quickly. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Heat advisory canceled for Thursday; nasty heat still expected for Friday; power outages reported," 18 July 2019 Fannin allegedly saw Laine’s comment, reported it to police and requested officers stay overnight outside her home. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Man who ran for Livermore mayor charged with threatening to burn down Contra Costa judge’s home," 16 July 2019 The last time the Rattlers had a game in Glendale, for the 2016 ArenaBowl, the team stayed overnight in Glendale twice and had a couple of practices there to get ready. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arizona Rattlers will face Nebraska Danger in IFL conference final Saturday in Glendale," 24 June 2019 Perhaps dramatic change in Nigerian society overnight is not the point. Saratu Abiola, Quartz Africa, "The fallout from a church rape scandal shows the harsh reality of being a woman in Nigeria," 3 July 2019 Storms return to the forecast overnight and Wednesday. Dallas News, "NBC 5 Forecast: Chance of Storms West, Warm and Humid," 18 June 2019 Starting June 3, visitors can find both weekly overnight and day camps at Sea Star Base Galveston through Aug. 10. Houston Chronicle, "Campers can explore the shores, waterways of Galveston Bay," 14 June 2019 Rivera Black Widow Infinity War feels like that joke about NYC traffic, where half the people could disappear overnight and there'd still be too many people on the road in the morning. The Editors Of Gq, GQ, "Everyone We Hope Dies in Avengers: Infinity War," 24 Apr. 2018 As the Woodbury Fire exploded to nearly 66,000 acres overnight and continued to head north, forest officials called for another community meeting Friday to keep residents informed about the massive blaze. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "Woodbury Fire hits 66,000 acres; community meeting set for Friday evening," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The ones who treat the overnight wait outside Hall H, the con's marquee stage, like an adventure in itself. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "The Paradox of the Incredible Shrinking Comic-Con Expansion," 17 July 2019 Plans are being made for overnight and first thing in the morning. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "2-Year-Old Girl Found Alive 1 Day After Going Missing Near Michigan Campsite," 16 July 2019 Like many of the buildings that line Grant Park, the Athletic Association adapts a European architectural model to modern American needs — which, in its case, meant palatial lounges, party rooms, gyms, a swimming pool and overnight guest rooms. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Back from Venice, with a fresh take on Chicago’s Venetian Gothic dazzler at 12 S. Michigan," 12 July 2019 The one-two punch shocked the NBA, which waited for days with few details about Leonard’s preferred destination, and turned the Clippers into an overnight favorite to win the Western Conference. Andrew Greif, latimes.com, "Kawhi Leonard to sign with Clippers, who also trade for Paul George," 5 July 2019 In addition, drivers should also should expect intermittent overnight lane closures on the Edens Expressway as crews work under the bridge. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "IDOT warns of lane closures on Dundee Road bridge in Glencoe," 5 July 2019 From the revered crucible of Centre Court and the all-white clothing of the players, to the overnight camping and famous queue for daily tickets, and the elegance of polished notables in the royal box, the atmosphere is quintessentially British. Rob Hodgetts, CNN, "Wimbledon 2019: Britain's tennis love-in and the quest for grand slam glory," 1 July 2019 Without specifically addressing the overnight activity, Mr. Cohen added that Israel would not allow Syria to become a logistical base for the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah and Lebanon. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Israel Is Blamed for Deadly Missile Strikes in Syria," 1 July 2019 An unwanted overnight visitor had to be removed from a home on Eagles Landing Circle West in Clearwater. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "Florida’s ‘Gator Lady’ has been gifted wine bottles after massive gator trashed her home," 28 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There's a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms overnight Tuesday. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Storms expected during rush hour in Houston this afternoon," 25 June 2019 Never mind that just a few days ago, 007 killing machine Daniel Craig overnighted here. Norma Meyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "James Bond’s Jamaican roots," 13 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Such nannies work long hours or overnights and may even travel with the family. Anna Bahney, CNN, "What it takes to be a $200,000-a-year nanny," 13 June 2019 A couple hundred activists gathered near Buckingham Palace with the goal of making as much noise as possible overnight. Haley Ott, CBS News, ""Trump Baby" coming back to London, and this year it will have company," 3 June 2019 Peace Vans welcomes two more vintage Volkswagen buses this spring — 1970 and 1976 models — that can take visitors on daytrips or short overnights in and around Seattle. Kari Bodnarchuk, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 11 Apr. 2018 While the overnight shelter didn’t require women to be clean and sober, the single-room occupancy units do. oregonlive.com, "Salvation Army women’s shelter closes from incomplete, vague application for funding," 17 June 2019 An onslaught of orders in the equity-futures market triggered trading halts by the CME Group overnight to prevent further steep drops. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Wild Markets Pinch Trading, Vexing Investors," 7 Dec. 2018 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

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

22 Jul 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 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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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

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