over·rule | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrül , 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

Departing Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger was overruled in his attempts to sign Manchester United winger Anthony Martial in January. SI.com, "Arsène Wenger Overruled in Attempt to Sign Man United Star Anthony Martial During January Window," 15 May 2018 At a very crucial point in the match, the chair umpire does not overrule a terrible baseline call. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Mailbag: Grass Court Season, Equal Pay and the Fed-Rafa Documentary," 20 June 2018 Objections are often overruled, and the state police will not publicly release any information on why. chicagotribune.com, "Almost nothing is known about dozens of concealed carry shootings in Illinois. Why?," 15 June 2018 From civil rights laws to rules governing ride-hailing in Austin, state legislators have used their power to overrule local, municipal decisions. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When states overrule cities: report finds preemption is spreading," 10 Apr. 2018 This ruling is often described as the Supreme Court overruling its prior decisions and opening the door to software patents. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Why a 40-year-old SCOTUS ruling against software patents still matters today," 21 June 2018 This special treatment has circumvented normal faculty search and hiring processes and has involved administrators unilaterally overruling decisions of the faculty. WSJ, "If UnKoch Is Fine, What About an UnSoros?," 6 June 2018 The newspaper did not say who overruled the decision. Michelle Ewing, ajc, "Obituary for Minnesota woman sparks controversy: 'She will not be missed'," 6 June 2018 Mourinho's side were involved in fresh controversy during their 2-0 FA Cup fifth round win over Huddersfield, after VAR official Neil Swarbrick overruled the linesman's decision to award a goal to Spanish midfielder Juan Mata. SI.com, "Jose Mourinho Suggests VAR Should Be Used at Referee's Discretion," 18 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for overrule

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for overrule

The first known use of overrule was in 1576

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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 \
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 \

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

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Comments on overrule

What made you want to look up overrule? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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