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

That bill itself could be vetoed by the governor, so lawmakers need either the support of the governor or the support of the House minority in order to have enough votes to override a veto. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Legislators: Fixing budget and dividend likely requires ‘full package’ of compromise," 20 July 2019 Republicans don't have enough votes to override a veto. Scott Bauer, chicagotribune.com, "Wisconsin Republicans urge Gov. Tony Evers to sign abortion bills he has vowed to veto," 20 June 2019 Votes to override Trump's vetoes failed, 45-40, 45-39 and 46-41. CBS News, "Senate fails to override Trump vetoes on stopping Saudi weapons sales," 30 July 2019 Three votes Monday to override Trump's vetoes failed. Fox News, "Trump administration gets green light to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, after Senate rejects veto overrides," 30 July 2019 Supporters of that measure were unable to muster the two-thirds supermajority needed to override that veto. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "Senate fails to override Trump's veto of Saudi arms deal in new setback for kingdom's critics," 29 July 2019 Six council votes at a subsequent meeting are needed to override a veto. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "City Council passes law to guard Seattle soda-tax revenue after spat with Mayor Jenny Durkan," 22 July 2019 So Boeing added a new flight control system called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that can, in certain rare but dangerous situations, override pilots’ controls and automatically tip the nose of the plane downward. Washington Post, "Airlines cancel thousands of flights as Boeing works to fix 737 Max software problems," 14 July 2019 Under the 2011 settlement, Facebook was required to implement a privacy program, obtain express consent from users before making changes that override privacy preferences, and undergo regular privacy audits. David Mclaughlin And Daniel Stoller / Bloomberg, Time, "Facebook's Getting Slapped With a $5 Billion FTC Privacy Settlement," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

She and the other members of the Republican House minority were crucial to blocking a veto override vote. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy’s university funding plan draws criticism from some legislators, but others say it doesn’t cut deep enough," 14 Aug. 2019 However, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka will likely have to wait until the fall to bring the veto to the floor for an override vote after sending their members home for an August recess after Wednesday’s session. Matt Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "Governor Baker vetoes labor bill over cellphone privacy concerns," 2 Aug. 2019 There was supposed to be an override feature—one that would tell pilots that there were discrepancies with what the AOA was sensing—but Boeing offered it as an optional add-on. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Every Question You Still Have About the Boeing 737 Max, Answered," 1 Aug. 2019 The last override was the Senate's 97-1 vote in 2016 to override then-President Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which allowed families of 9/11 victims to sue those responsible for the attacks, including Saudi Arabia. Fox News, "Trump administration gets green light to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, after Senate rejects veto overrides," 30 July 2019 The Alaska legislature was unable to get enough support to block the cuts through a veto override late last week. Paola Banchero, The Conversation, "In divided Alaska, the choice is between paying for government or giving residents bigger oil wealth check," 15 July 2019 So while the Legislature could attempt an override of the latest cuts on Wednesday, University of Alaska officials are prepared for the worst. Max Cohen, USA TODAY, "No longer rich on oil, Alaska may slash money to universities: 'We have a lot to lose'," 9 July 2019 Hollie Sheriff, a Sierra Vista school board member and a parent, said going without override funding means her district has a harder time attracting teachers with a competitive salary and benefits. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Squeezed by declining enrollment, Arizona's rural schools are suffering," 12 June 2019 The agency determined two main probable causes for the accident: the truck driver’s assumption that the shuttle would move to avoid him, and that the safety operator inside the shuttle didn’t have direct access to the manual override controls. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Self-driving shuttle crashed in Las Vegas because manual controls were locked away," 11 July 2019

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

16 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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