over·​ride | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrīd How to pronounce override (audio) , ˌō-və-\
overrode\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrōd How to pronounce overrode (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overridden\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈri-​dᵊn How to pronounce overridden (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overriding\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrī-​diŋ How to pronounce overriding (audio) , 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 How to pronounce override (audio) , 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

Congress earlier this year passed a similar resolution, but the House didn’t have enough votes to override a presidential veto. Bloomberg News, The Mercury News, "Trump: GOP opposition to Mexico tariffs would be ‘foolish’," 4 June 2019 An earlier vote of disapproval did not have enough support to override a presidential veto, although GOP opposition to the Mexico tariffs appeared to be growing on Tuesday. John Walcott, Time, "How Trump's Mexico Tariffs Could Backfire and Increase Immigration," 4 June 2019 Lawmakers aren’t likely to have the votes to override... Kristina Peterson, WSJ, "Senate Passes Resolution to Block Trump’s Border Emergency," 14 Mar. 2019 Sam Brownback vetoed it and there weren’t enough votes to override his veto. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Democratic wins in these 9 states will have seismic policy consequences," 9 Nov. 2018 Instead of pursuing a deal, the plan spearheaded by the Transportation Department and the Environmental Protection Agency tries to eliminate or override California’s authority. Timothy Puko, WSJ, "Trump Administration Presses Plan to Ease Fuel-Economy Standards," 23 July 2018 Fellow Republicans in the Legislature overrode Brownback's veto last year to raise taxes. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Missouri General Assembly votes to cut individual taxes, sends bill to Greitens | The Kansas City Star," 17 May 2018 The 29 votes to override, which all came from Democrats, were the minimum needed. Erin Cox, baltimoresun.com, "Lawmakers override Gov. Hogan's veto, changing decades-old process to decide which schools get built or fixed," 5 Apr. 2018 Angered by the ruling, the influential leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Aryeh Deri — who is also Netanyahu’s interior minister — drafted legislation ramping up his own powers to override local authorities. Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, "Israel’s battle between religious and secular Jews escalates with ban on Saturday shopping," 1 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dependency overrides are granted for one year at a time. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "What Students Can Do if Parents Can’t—or Won’t—Fill Out College-Aid Forms," 3 Mar. 2019 In effect Nixon was negating the veto override, directly challenging Congress’s power to make the laws. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "Why We Have So Many Shutdowns," 16 Jan. 2019 Klarides supports the override, saying that the scope of the Hartford assistance measure was never agreed to by legislative leaders during last year’s budget negotiations. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Special Legislative Session To Focus On School Safety Bill, Other Measures Vetoed By Governor Malloy," 25 June 2018 That vote followed a 67-22 House override earlier Thursday. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Ohio Legislature Overrides Gov. Kasich’s Veto of Gun-Rights Bill," 27 Dec. 2018 The approval comes a day after the Senate failed to take up Rauner’s override of a bill to create a state licensing system for gun dealers. Bill Lukitsch, chicagotribune.com, "People with opioid prescriptions could get medical marijuana instead under Illinois Senate plan," 26 Apr. 2018 If given the power to set the overall budget and impound excess spending, subject to an override by two-thirds of each house, the president would once again be a real player in the budget game. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "Why We Have So Many Shutdowns," 16 Jan. 2019 The amount of the three overrides was determined by enrollment from each town. Linda Greenstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Voters in Rowley, Salisbury say no to Triton override," 9 May 2018 Attempting to prosecute Clinton would be an obvious presidential override of the official finding of an FBI investigation. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump reportedly tried to order the Justice Department to prosecute Clinton and Comey," 20 Nov. 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

7 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce override (audio) \
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 How to pronounce override (audio) \
overrode\ -​ˈrōd How to pronounce overrode (audio) \; overridden\ -​ˈrid-​ᵊn How to pronounce overridden (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce override (audio) \

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

Comments on override

What made you want to look up override? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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