over·​ride | \ˌō-vər-ˈrīd, ˌō-və-\
overrode\ˌō-​vər-​ˈrōd, ˌō-​və-​ \; overridden\ˌō-​vər-​ˈri-​dᵊn, ˌō-​və-​ \; overriding\ˌō-​vər-​ˈrī-​diŋ, ˌō-​və-​ \

Definition of override 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to ride over or across : trample overrode the thin line of defenders

2 : to ride (an animal, such as a horse) too much or too hard

3a : to prevail over : dominate panic overrode everything else— Marcia Davenport

b : to set aside : annul override a veto the rights of the individual were being flagrantly overridden— C. L. Jones

c : to neutralize the action of (something, such as an automatic control) You must enter a code to override the alarm.

4 : to extend or pass over especially : overlap Huge waves override the beach.


over·​ride | \ˈō-vər-ˌrīd, ˈō-və-\

Definition of override (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a commission paid to managerial personnel on sales made by subordinates

3 : a device or system used to override a control

4 : an act or an instance of overriding

Examples of override in a Sentence


Congress overrode the President's veto. These new rules override the old ones. Don't let anger override common sense. You must enter a code to override the alarm. She overrode the default settings on her computer.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The two-thirds approval indicates that the legislature could override any potential veto by County Executive Frank White, whose power would be diminished if voters approve some of the proposals. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Legislators put term limits, pay raises for Jackson County officials on ballot | The Kansas City Star," 7 May 2018 The House voted 103-33 to override that bill but the Senate disagreed and blocked the effort. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "All Malloy Vetoes Upheld; Lawmakers Fail On Overrides," 25 June 2018 McDonough did vote with Democrats in April to override Hogan’s veto of a bill to overhaul the process for approving the construction and renovation of schools. Alison Knezevich, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County executive race: Redmer attacks McDonough in new TV ad," 11 June 2018 Lawmakers voted to override the Republican governor's veto of the tax increase to fund education. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "#RedforEd teacher walkout follows lead of West Virginia and Oklahoma," 21 Apr. 2018 Bevin’s comments came shortly after Republican lawmakers voted to override his vetoes of an operating budget that included increased spending for public education with the help of an accompanying tax increase. Time, "Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Has Apologized for Remarks Linking a Teachers' Rally to Child Sex Abuse," 16 Apr. 2018 House members chose not to vote to override the veto. Nate Poppino And Betsy Z. Russell, idahostatesman, "Governor vetoes 1 bill, frets about others – and lawmakers can now leave Boise | Idaho Statesman," 28 Mar. 2018 That agreement would be sealed with the vow by both parties to vote to override a presidential veto on these issues. Anchorage Daily News, "Readers write: Letters to the editor, January 12, 2018," 12 Jan. 2018 Lawmakers can override the governor’s vetoes by a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Special Legislative Session To Focus On School Safety Bill, Other Measures Vetoed By Governor Malloy," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trump has not vetoed a bill, and thus has yet to face a serious override threat. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "How potential government shutdown could throw wrench into Brett Kavanaugh confirmation," 31 July 2018 While support for other games is being worked on (which users can vote for here), Steam Play testers can toggle an override switch to test any games that Valve has not internally whitelisted thus far. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Valve’s “Steam Play” uses Vulkan to bring more Windows games to Linux," 21 Aug. 2018 Erin Gaffen and Michele Sanphy, cochairs of the ballot committee Yes for Reading that advocated for the override, said in a joint e-mail statement. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s a yes for $4.15m override in Reading," 4 Apr. 2018 That override appeared uncertain from the moment the Senate passed the bill with 29 votes, the minimum needed to reject a veto. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Gov. Hogan vetoes bill to overhaul school construction approval process, draws criticism from treasurer," 4 Apr. 2018 Comptroller Peter Franchot joined him in ceremonially signing on to the veto at the weekly meeting of the Board of Public Works, and both men had sharp words for lawmakers considering an override of the veto. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland Gov. Hogan vetoes bill to overhaul school construction approval process, draws criticism from treasurer," 4 Apr. 2018 Loyola Medicine officials joined Cupich at the press conference to express their support for the override. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "Cardinal Cupich calls on state lawmakers to display 'moral courage' and override gun law veto," 17 Apr. 2018 When the freeze was brought up for the 2018 budget year, the Board of Commissioners vetoed the measure and the council lacked the votes for an override. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Council creates two-week hold on filling vacancies," 10 July 2018 If there is no override, that portion of the storm water management program disappears from the budget. Jennifer Barrios, Washington Post, "Montgomery executive Isiah Leggett issues rare line-item veto," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'override.' 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 override


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for override

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for override

The first known use of override was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for override



English Language Learners Definition of override

: to make (something) no longer valid

: to have more importance or influence than (something)

: to stop an action that is done automatically by using a special command


over·​ride | \ˌō-vər-ˈrīd \
overrode\-​ˈrōd \; overridden\-​ˈri-​dᵊn \; overriding\-​ˈrī-​diŋ \

Kids Definition of override

: to push aside as less important Don't let anger override sense.


transitive verb
over·​ride | \ˌō-vər-ˈrīd \
overrode\-​ˈrōd \; overridden\-​ˈrid-​ᵊn \; overriding

Legal Definition of override 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to prevail or take precedence over if, as is often the case, federal constitutional principles override state statutory or common law— H. P. Wilkins

2 : to set aside by virtue of superior authority overrode the jury's sentencing recommendation especially : annul sense 2 override a veto with the required majority


over·​ride | \ˈō-vər-ˌrīd \

Legal Definition of override (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a commission paid to managerial personnel on sales made by subordinates

called also override commission

2 : royalty

3 : an act or instance of overriding a legislative override

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More from Merriam-Webster on override

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with override

Spanish Central: Translation of override

Nglish: Translation of override for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of override for Arabic Speakers

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