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

Last year, the state high court overruled its own 30-year-old precedent and declared that workers can only maintain independent contractor status if a business and contractor can pass a three-part analysis known as the ABC test. Thomas Newton And James Ewert, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Legislative inaction could be disastrous for newspapers," 3 Sep. 2019 Despite promoting him, Mr. Netanyahu often stymied and humiliated Mr. Liberman, ignoring or overruling his more bombastic policy positions, from the death penalty for convicted terrorists to toppling Hamas. New York Times, "Israel Election Could Turn on Ugly Breakup of an Odd Couple," 16 Sep. 2019 All the principal actors delight, though special mention must be made of Amy Sue Hardy, who beautifully shows how Mother’s generous heart overrules her sense of convention. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Ragtime’: Garden production is an American must-see | Review," 2 Sep. 2019 Italian citizens pay me for.’’ Two weeks after rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya, the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms entered Italian territorial waters after an Italian court overruled a ban on it by the right-wing Salvini. Frances D’emilio, BostonGlobe.com, "Italy’s political crisis on display in migrant boat battle," 15 Aug. 2019 If, just if, the summit could have gone on one more day…that might have given the two leaders time to build their burgeoning rapport and overrule sceptics in their delegations. The Economist, "Reagan and Gorbachev’s tantalising nuclear talks in Reykjavik," 15 Aug. 2019 Former executives and employees allege compliance officers were overruled after one of the highest-ranking executives intervened to keep him as a client. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Readers Respond to Walmart’s Gun Sales: CEO Daily," 9 Aug. 2019 In a series of 4-3 votes, the board overruled Alexandro Flores’ recommendations and proceeded with reopening the shuttered campuses. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "South San school board vacancies to be filled next week," 9 Sep. 2019 Vaccine data to be released: Lamont took the unusual step of overruling his public health commissioner, saying the state would release school-by-school immunization data this fall despite a pending lawsuit. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Capitol Week in Review: It’s ‘Nedstock’ at the Woodstock Fair; lawmakers say to stay tuned for transportation news," 30 Aug. 2019

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

15 Oct 2019

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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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on overrule

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overrule

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overrule

Spanish Central: Translation of overrule

Nglish: Translation of overrule for Spanish Speakers

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