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 For now, the effort hasn’t done much to lower the number of H-1Bs; many of the denials are overruled and the number of applications hasn’t dropped by much, meaning that the cap is still being hit every year. Noah Smith, The Denver Post, "Noah Smith: The U.S. needs more of India’s and China’s best and brightest," 22 Oct. 2019 Criticizing the monuments’ removal as an arbitrary attempt to erase history, the group has called on the Maryland Historical Trust to overrule Pugh’s directive and restore the Confederate statues to their pedestals. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore’s Confederate statues were spirited away one night. Two years later, they languish on a city lot.," 26 Sep. 2019 Should Caxton overrule the translator and restore the original text? Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "The Dark Side of Techno-Utopianism," 23 Sep. 2019 Schiff pointed out that this is the first time a Director of National Intelligence has overruled a determination from the inspector general, and raised concerns that the refusal may be a sign of a cover-up to protect the president. CBS News, "Whistleblower says Trump made "troubling" promise to foreign leader, Washington Post reports," 19 Sep. 2019 To this end, Nixon overruled Pentagon objections and ordered an emergency airlift to Israel, rushing over 20,000 tons of military supplies to replace its dwindling munitions. Vance Serchuk, National Review, "Russia’s Middle East Power Play," 12 Sep. 2019 And earlier this month, John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, reportedly overruled his senior staff, who told him to drop out and run for US Senate instead. James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "Three events this summer that could shrink the Democratic presidential primary field," 9 July 2019 But a state appeals court overruled that decision, and the state’s high court said the department had acted within its authority. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "California Supreme Court says child support counts toward welfare income limit," 8 July 2019 In other words, even overruling Morrison would not make the special counsel probe unconstitutional, because the regulations take into account the weightiest constitutional objections to the Independent Counsel Act. Neal Katyal, Time, "President Trump Is Wrong. The Mueller Probe Is Constitutional," 7 June 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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Time Traveler for overrule

Time Traveler

The first known use of overrule was in 1576

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Statistics for overrule

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Overrule.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overruled. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for overrule


How to pronounce overrule (audio)

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.
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on overrule

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overrule

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overrule

Spanish Central: Translation of overrule

Nglish: Translation of overrule for Spanish Speakers

Comments on overrule

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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