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

Verb 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 Friday, January 1st, days after the House overrode Trump’s veto of the defense spending bill, the Senate followed suit, voting 81-13 to override Trump’s veto. Siraj Hashmi, Washington Examiner, "White House Weekly: January," 5 Jan. 2021 While Republicans had joined Democrats to initially pass those measures, supporters couldn’t muster enough GOP votes to override the vetoes from a Republican president. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, "Senate Overrides Trump’s Veto of NDAA Defense Bill," 1 Jan. 2021 As part of the political maneuvering, Sen. Bernie Sanders vowed to delay a vote to override Trump's veto of the military funding bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act until the issue of bigger stimulus payments is addressed. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for December 31: Coronavirus, transition, stimulus, Brexit, Yemen," 31 Dec. 2020 The Senate approved the bill 84-13 earlier this month, well above the margin needed to override a presidential veto. Matthew Daly, ajc, "Trump lashes out at GOP after override vote on defense bill," 29 Dec. 2020 Trump previously sought to hold up an annual defense policy bill in an attempt to quash the law, only to see Democrats and Republicans strike a rare note of unity to override his veto. Washington Post, "Trump, Republicans seize on new stimulus debate to take aim at an old foe: Big tech," 29 Dec. 2020 Also on Monday night, many Republicans joined with most all Democrats in the House to override Trump’s veto of an annual defense authorization bill. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Which Texas Republicans voted against $2,000 pandemic stimulus checks requested by Trump?," 29 Dec. 2020 Lawmakers are set to return to Washington early next week to override Trump’s veto of a $741 billion military spending bill. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "President Trump throws into doubt COVID-19 help from Washington for small businesses and the unemployed; 35,000 in Connecticut face loss of benefits," 24 Dec. 2020 The bill passed in both the House and Senate with majorities larger than the two-thirds votes that would be needed to override his veto. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, "Despite his boasts, Trump again is no deal-maker as Congress seeks pandemic relief bill," 20 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Forty Republicans — including the entire GOP leadership — voted for the override, along with 41 Democrats. Matthew Daly, ajc, "In a first, Congress overrides Trump veto of defense bill," 1 Jan. 2021 In the end, more than 100 House Republicans voted for the override. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for December 29: Stimulus, coronavirus, military bill, Andre Hill, billionaire death," 29 Dec. 2020 The impasse prompted Democrats to use procedural powers to delay consideration of the veto override vote that senators had gathered to consider. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Senate Republicans block move to bolster COVID-19 relief checks to $2,000," 29 Dec. 2020 Congress had overwhelmingly passed the bill, and that sets the stage for a possible override of Trump’s veto, which would be a first for this president. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: Trump’s Christmas chaos," 24 Dec. 2020 If it's approved, then the Senate is expected to return Tuesday to begin considering the override. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Trump vetoes defense plan, risks override," 24 Dec. 2020 The move sets up what could be the first veto override of his presidency. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "5 things to know for December 24: Pardons, veto, coronavirus, Brexit, police violence," 24 Dec. 2020 If the House overrides the veto with a two-thirds vote, the measure would head to the Senate for a possible override. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Murkowski calls Trump veto of defense bill a ‘disservice’ to military; Sullivan will vote to override the veto," 24 Dec. 2020 If the override passes in the House, the Senate will take it up later in the week. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, "Trump gives Congress chaos for Christmas, with aid to millions up in the air," 23 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for override

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

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Override.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/override. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for override


How to pronounce override (audio)

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.
over·​ride | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrīd How to pronounce override (audio) \
overrode\ -​ˈrōd How to pronounce override (audio) \; overridden\ -​ˈrid-​ᵊn How to pronounce override (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

3 : an act or instance of overriding a legislative override

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