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

The battery levels fell in the evening and overnight, down to 65 percent at their lowest, but when the morning sun came up, our charge level began to climb and was full by mid- to late afternoon. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Contemplating Solar for Your Road Rig? Do It Already," 6 June 2018 Rainfall amounts of 2 inches have fallen overnight and additional heavy downpours will produce another 1 to 2 inches early this morning. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "South Florida under a flood watch as heavy rain drenches roads | Miami Herald," 20 May 2018 Another three-quarters of an inch may fall overnight. Eder Campuzano, OregonLive.com, "Portland Saturday weather: Storm closing in, with possible gusts of up to 44 mph," 7 Apr. 2018 Low temperatures across that area could fall to between 30 and 32 degrees overnight, according to forecasters. Leigh Morgan, AL.com, "Freeze warnings continue for parts of Alabama through Thursday morning," 14 Mar. 2018 Nearly overnight, major news outlets published explainers on intersectionality and intersectional feminism. Kory Stamper, The Cut, "A Brief, Convoluted History of the Word ‘Intersectionality’," 9 Mar. 2018 Julian will only reach 37 on Monday, and will fall to 18 overnight. Gary Robbins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Winter weather to throw a chill into San Diego on Monday," 19 Feb. 2018 Most Asian currencies had fallen overnight as the rise in bond yields lifted the dollar. Reuters, Fortune, "Stocks Are Dropping for a Second Day After Rising for So Long. What You Need to Know," 30 Jan. 2018 In addition to farm day camps, the Learning Center is offering weeklong overnight farm camp for the first time this summer for children ages 8 to 14. Anne Schamberg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Farming out the kids: Gathering eggs, milking cows, cooking teach about country life," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Or perhaps a reparative, overnight formula to make the most out of your beauty sleep? Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "The 13 Best New Moisturizers for Fall 2018," 18 Sep. 2018 Her husband, David Olmeda, got back to their room a few hours earlier from working the overnight shift at a nearby Home Depot. Bianca Padró Ocasio, OrlandoSentinel.com, "These Puerto Ricans who fled Hurricane María's destruction built a community at a Super 8 in Kissimmee. Now, they have to leave it.," 27 June 2018 That night, Kelly was working the overnight shift at the gas station, her mother Rachel told Dateline. Juliet Muir, NBC News, "Missing persons case of Virginia mother Kelly Bergh-Dove remains unsolved 36 years later," 17 June 2018 While the mother worked an overnight shift, Harris would creep in the girl’s room, pin her down and rape her. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "Registered sex offender convicted of raping 7-year-old girl he babysat," 24 Apr. 2018 The report found the majority of the homicides happen during the overnight shift. Adam Ferrise, cleveland.com, "Two detectives added to beleaguered Cleveland homicide unit after critical report released," 24 Apr. 2018 Saturday's rain will be long gone by the time things kick off Sunday (May 6), which forecasters expect to be sunny and clear with a high temperature in the lower 80s and overnight lows around 70. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "Here comes the sun, as Jazz Fest 2018 draws to a close," 6 May 2018 While Saturday’s predicted daytime high is encouraging, the overnight lows would prevent us from getting concessions, bathrooms, and water pumps up and running without risking damage to critical systems. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "Spring snow in Cincinnati: What's canceled or delayed this weekend," 23 Mar. 2018 Saturday's overnight lows should reach 3 degrees with wind chill values of 9 degrees below zero. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Dangerous cold, snow and rain to storm Central Indiana's weekend weather," 5 Jan. 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

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 Those in need of more intense hydration can look to Farmacy's Sheet Mask with coconut water to heal parched skin, or Lancôme's overnight rose jelly formula, which promises softer complexions by morning. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "10 Face Masks for Happier Skin Right Now," 28 Sep. 2018 Durkan’s proposal earmarks $250,000 for a new overnight parking lot program for people living in cars and recreational vehicles. Vernal Coleman, The Seattle Times, "Durkan adds shelter, homeless outreach and support for vehicle campers in Seattle budget," 24 Sep. 2018 Getting to the remote site required an 11-hour overnight train journey from Wonsan, a port city east of the capital, Pyongyang. BostonGlobe.com, "North Korea says it demolishes nuke test site with series of blasts," 24 May 2018 The trips between our overnight stays, including ones in Borgarnes, Akureyri, and Reykjavik, were often long distances from one stop to another. Rich Westcott, Philly.com, "A trip to Iceland is one you'll never forget," 13 Apr. 2018 One wild card is arrival time: If rain late Monday flips to snow overnight and falls heavily, March’s increasingly strong sun, of course, won’t be a factor. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "Winter storm likely Monday night into Tuesday; snow accumulation odds are growing for parts of the D.C. region," 17 Mar. 2018 Under that program, residents who have issues with overnight parking could apply for long-term overnight permits for which the city would establish a fee structure. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Naperville to again look at ways to help residents ticketed because of 70-year-old parking ban," 10 July 2018 The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, on an American tour, planned to sail from Los Angeles to San Francisco on the royal yacht Britannia, and to bunk overnight while docked in San Francisco Bay. Carolyne Zinko, San Francisco Chronicle, "After 51 years serving SF, protocol queen Charlotte Shultz undaunted by elections, cancer," 29 May 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

11 Nov 2018

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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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).


a private place of worship

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