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

Drawing on that dissent, Arizona asked the Supreme Court to overrule decisions that allowed it to turn down cases filed by states directly in the court. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Arizona Files Novel Lawsuit in Supreme Court Over Opioid Crisis," 31 July 2019 President Trump’s attorneys general have made increased use of authority seldom exercised by their predecessors to overrule immigration courts. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "U.S. attorney says fear of reprisals over threats to family not reason for asylum," 30 July 2019 Committee member Diana Shores motioned to overrule Adams, but only four people voted in favor, so the motion and censure effort failed. NBC News, "Virginia GOP tries, fails to censure congressman for officiating same-sex wedding," 29 July 2019 Again, that would draw Barr into a major controversy over whether to overrule Mueller, which the AG surely wanted to avoid. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "How Mueller’s Lawyers Spun the OLC Guidance on Indicting a Sitting President," 28 July 2019 Instead, Congress came together every two years to overrule the law's spending caps and increase Pentagon and domestic budgets. Author: Erica Werner, Damian Paletta, Anchorage Daily News, "House passes two-year budget deal to lift spending, suspend debt ceiling," 25 July 2019 We are not empowered to overrule Facebook’s management. Larry Magid, The Mercury News, "Magid: Facebook changes nature of corporate decision-making," 5 July 2019 Finally, the Senate bill gives the Ethics Committee the authority to review the case, allowing the chair and ranking member to overrule settlement repayments. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "The Senate Has Finally Passed Its Version of the Sexual Harassment Bill. Here's What Happens Next," 25 May 2018 California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara met privately with the CEO of a Nebraska insurance company with dozens of complaints pending before the Department of Insurance, and another ruling in favor of a policyholder has been overruled. San Diego Union-Tribune, "State insurance office again overturns a judge’s ruling to a political donor’s benefit," 26 July 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

20 Aug 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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