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

Building a workforce was also important, but the overarching, overriding concern was preparing citizens to exercise their rights and responsibilities. Danielle Allen, Twin Cities, "Danielle Allen: If we care about democracy, we need to rebuild civics education in our schools," 8 Sep. 2019 Those voting against overriding the veto did not comment on the matter during the meeting. Tyler Johnson, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena council fails to override mayor’s veto," 6 Aug. 2019 Rieck's association successfully blocked the bans by invoking Ohio's preemption rule, which stops cities from overriding state gun laws. Cameron Knight, USA TODAY, "Dayton shooter used a modified gun that may have exploited a legal loophole," 5 Aug. 2019 Holding an election after such an outcome could help Johnson scoop up Brexit Party supporters, having delivered on their overriding objective. Stephen Castle, BostonGlobe.com, "Special election defeat poses thorny problem for Johnson," 2 Aug. 2019 The legislature is convening Monday at the Capitol in Hartford under a mandated session to consider overriding vetoes by Lamont on unrelated issues. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "As the summer wears on, legislators and Gov. Lamont are still searching for a compromise on tolls," 21 July 2019 Otherwise, the overriding temptation will be to delay, to temporize. Noam Cohen, WIRED, "The Truth About Trump’s Love-Hate Relationship With Big Tech," 18 July 2019 While grouse numbers recede and rise on a nine to eleven-year cycle, an overriding downward trend can be noted for the Wisconsin grouse population since the inception of the survey. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ruffed grouse drumming counts up 41% statewide," 15 June 2019 Ascent and the Douglas County district still have to resolve some financial issues, like whether the school would continue to receive a share of the mill levy override dollars that voters passed, Shuler said. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Castle Rock charter school that allows staff to carry concealed guns will leave Douglas County School District," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Most district employees had received a 2.67% salary increase in April after voters approved a mill levy override. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, "New teachers in Jeffco would make $2,000 more a year under proposed deal between union, district," 17 Aug. 2019 An override likely would make the expansion fight moot for another year. Washington Post, "Medicaid, budget fight test North Carolina governor’s clout," 27 July 2019 Old Hollywood dump, Moorish crown moldings, a beatnik patio and a jukebox with a bartender override (most jukes now give the bar staff veto power over bad taste). Chris Erskine, latimes.com, "Our favorite ‘noir bars,’ dark sanctuaries on a blistering summer day," 27 June 2019 In total, lawmakers voted 108-40 in favor of Rosendale’s bill during the session, but the override effort fell short by five votes in each chamber. USA TODAY, "Mowing quest, mayo man, soybean scare: News from around our 50 states," 17 June 2019 On Tuesday Vice President Mike Pence met with several GOP Senators ahead of a vote on the override resolution that passed the House with ease. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s Emergency Exit," 12 Mar. 2019 If an override is denied, the applicant can appeal. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "What Students Can Do if Parents Can’t—or Won’t—Fill Out College-Aid Forms," 3 Mar. 2019 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

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

13 Sep 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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readily or continually undergoing change

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