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 Harris was held in jail overnight and appeared before Peck the following morning, officials said. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 17 June 2021 The Telegraph Fire grew overnight, burning through 104,755 acres with containment down to 68%, fire authorities said during a community meeting late Monday. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 15 June 2021 Anderson said he and his friends were detained overnight, as video of the incident began to circulate on social media. Morgan Winsor, ABC News, 15 June 2021 The nagging inflation of the late 1960s and 1970s didn’t happen overnight. Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, 11 June 2021 Cuevas-Castro acknowledged that this isn’t something that’s fixed overnight. Sean Collins, Dallas News, 28 Mar. 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Made in America package includes overnight accommodations, two Premier Loge Center tickets to the Pageant of the Masters stage performance, admission for two to Festival of Arts, a welcome amenity, and a complimentary resort fee. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 17 June 2021 Bridges became an overnight celebrity among some in the anti-vaccine community based on response to her GoFundMe appeal to cover legal costs – which has raised more than $200,000. David Heath, USA Today, 17 June 2021 Electric cars are popular here, but most local owners drive them to and from work enabling an overnight charge at home. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, 17 June 2021 The image of this overnight mural was shared by thousands of people. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 June 2021 The game also will be the first at full capacity for Dodger Stadium following California's overnight lifting of many COVID-19 safety measures. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, 15 June 2021 Philadelphia’s plan, unveiled Tuesday, envisions about 800,000 square feet of additional cargo buildings as well as ten spots for overnight parking by widebody cargo aircraft. Ted Reed, Forbes, 15 June 2021 And reopening may be an adjustment for many people — a slow reentry rather than an overnight dive into mixed society. Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 June 2021 The experience has been an overnight crash course for Miranda. Christopher Mosley, Dallas News, 14 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dell was able to overnight a replacement module for the 7090, which easily slid into place. Dwight Silverman, Forbes, 14 June 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At least 210 people died and 700 others were injured in 1990, when a train on a 500-mile overnight run south from the city of Multan to Karachi hit an empty freight train. Salman Masood, New York Times, 7 June 2021 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

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

18 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overnight.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overnight. Accessed 24 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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