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

Don't expect Prince Charles to seriously override his sons' parenting decisions. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Don't Technically Have Custody of Their Kids," 21 Aug. 2018 The automated 911 response overrode Kyle's initial comments, which weren't heard by the dispatcher. CBS News, "Police release details of 911 call and police response to Ohio teen who died in van," 14 May 2018 Only Putin’s failure to understand the checks and balances at the heart of the U.S. political system explains his apparent belief that Trump could override all objections to his would-be Russia reset. Ian Bremmer, Time, "Putin Won. But Russia Is Losing," 22 Mar. 2018 The plan would override bedrock environmental laws, critics said, while the offer of $200 billion over 10 years in federal money is a far cry from Trump’s $1.5 trillion promise. Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trump’s infrastructure plan cheered, but funds short," 3 Feb. 2018 The fact is, the draw to a particular baby name can be powerful, and its overrides concerns about giving your child an unusual name. Maggie May Ethridge, Good Housekeeping, "I Gave My Kids Unusual Names, And Everyone Has an Opinion About It," 22 Apr. 2016 Especially for girls, who are often taught that being polite and sweet should override all other instincts. Sarah Dessen, Seventeen, "I Thought Dating An Older Guy Was Cool — Until I Sensed That Something Was Very Wrong," 5 May 2015 As a Republican governor, Johnson vetoed more than 700 bills in perpetual standoffs with a Legislature run by Democrats, vetoing the entire budget in his final year only to have legislators override him. Morgan Lee, The Seattle Times, "Libertarian says Trump, Democrats need a swing-vote senator," 9 Oct. 2018 And should the structure ultimately be enshrined in the Alaska Constitution, since as a simple law, any future legislature could override it by majority vote? Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Legislature won’t cut schools budget this year, but spending boost remains uncertain," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The vote marks the first time since 2003 that Reading has passed an operational override, according to Town Clerk Laura A. Gemme. John Laidler, BostonGlobe.com, "It’s a yes for $4.15m override in Reading," 4 Apr. 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

15 Mar 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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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