over·​rule | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrül How to pronounce overrule (audio) , ˌō-və- \
overruled; overruling; overrules

Definition of overrule

transitive verb

1 : to rule over : govern
2 : to prevail over : overcome
3a : to rule against
b : to set aside : reverse

Examples of overrule in a Sentence

The judge overruled the objection. His conviction was overruled by the supreme court.
Recent Examples on the Web Some Democratic senators were more forcefully pushing their colleagues to overrule her, but then Manchin came out against the entire bill, effectively tanking it. Felipe De La Hoz, The New Republic, 21 Dec. 2021 The big decision is whether or not to quarantine someone determined to be a close contact by this kind of nanny dragnet — an intern, a coach, an MVP — and that ruling remains up to teams, although the league can overrule them. Matt Sullivan, Rolling Stone, 18 Nov. 2021 The process of crafting regulations could take years and the conservative-leaning Supreme Court could overrule them or a future president could simply roll them back. New York Times, 22 Oct. 2021 The counsel’s decision would prevail unless, within 30 days, four commissioners voted to overrule it. Bradley A. Smith, National Review, 20 Oct. 2021 Witnesses and emails showed that whenever Mills and then-Sheriff Clifford Pinkney, who was supposed to be his boss on paper, disagreed, Mills went around Pinkney to Budish’s administration to overrule him. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 8 Oct. 2021 Congress has a history of setting up commissions to propose changes to be implemented unless lawmakers vote to overrule them. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2021 The calls to overrule the parliamentarian are likely to intensify in the wake of her decision. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, 16 Dec. 2021 Among the conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts appeared most interested in a less sweeping ruling that would uphold the Mississippi law but not explicitly overrule Roe and Casey. Mark Sherman And Jessica Gresko, Chron, 2 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overrule.' 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 overrule

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of overrule was in 1576

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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overrule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overrule. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for overrule



English Language Learners Definition of overrule

: to decide that (something or someone) is wrong : to rule against (something or someone)


over·​rule | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrül How to pronounce overrule (audio) \
overruled; overruling

Kids Definition of overrule

1 : to decide against The judge overruled the objection.
2 : to set aside a decision or ruling made by someone having less authority Mother overruled our plans.


transitive verb
over·​rule | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrül How to pronounce overrule (audio) \

Legal Definition of overrule

1 : to rule against the objection was overruled — compare sustain
2a : to rule against upon review by virtue of a higher authority : set aside, reverse the appeals court overruled the trial court's decision
b : to set aside as a precedent or guide did not intend to overrule prior jurisprudence in that area refused to overrule the landmark case — compare follow

More from Merriam-Webster on overrule

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overrule

Nglish: Translation of overrule for Spanish Speakers


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