over·​throw | \ ˌō-vər-ˈthrō How to pronounce overthrow (audio) \
overthrew\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈthrü How to pronounce overthrew (audio) \; overthrown\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈthrōn How to pronounce overthrown (audio) \; overthrowing

Definition of overthrow

transitive verb

2 : to cause the downfall of : bring down, defeat
3 : to throw a ball over or past (something or someone, such as a base or a receiver)

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Other Words from overthrow

overthrow \ ˈō-​vər-​ˌthrō How to pronounce overthrow (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for overthrow

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of. Caesar conquered Gaul vanquish implies a complete overpowering. vanquished the enemy and ended the war defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals. the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas subdue implies a defeating and suppression. subdued the native tribes after years of fighting reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender. the city was reduced after a month-long siege overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle. overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power. violently overthrew the old regime

Examples of overthrow in a Sentence

The quarterback overthrew his receiver.

Recent Examples on the Web

That this right exists under the Constitution, not as a right to overthrow it on the ground of extreme necessity. Henry W. (henry Washington) Hilliard, Harper's magazine, "The Precipice of Disunion," 16 Sep. 2019 After all, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, when James II was overthrown and replaced by his daughter Mary and her husband, William of Orange, was fought over the fundamental issue of the supremacy of parliament. Matt Wells, CNN, "Boris Johnson just took a huge step to ensure Brexit happens on October 31," 28 Aug. 2019 When the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown, the adult literacy rate in the Hawaiian language was nearly 100%, says historian Jonathan Osorio. Noelle Swan, The Christian Science Monitor, "Whose independence? Why some Native Hawaiians don’t celebrate on July 4.," 2 July 2019 Still, Mariota overthrew open receivers on at least three passes, continuing what has been a lingering issue. oregonlive, "Marcus Mariota, Titans hope strong start continues vs. Indianapolis Colts: Live score updates, TV channel, how to watch free live stream online," 15 Sep. 2019 But Hogan overthrew running back Khalfani Muhammad streaking open toward the end zone on a third-down play and the Broncos settled for a 50-yard Brandon McManus field goal to take the lead. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos’ preseason comes to close with victory over Cardinals," 29 Aug. 2019 Jones' mission to learn the truth leads to explosive findings that uncover the lengths to which the nation's top intelligence agency went to overthrow the law, destroy evidence and hide a major secret from the American public. Katherine Schaffstall, The Hollywood Reporter, "Adam Driver Investigates CIA Interrogation Program in 'The Report' Teaser Trailer," 22 Aug. 2019 If Gilead gets overthrown and the Handmaids get their hands on Lydia, who knows what will happen. Nojan Aminosharei, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ann Dowd Digs Deep to Understand Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale," 14 Aug. 2019 He’s well aware that the ruling triumvirate of Nadal/Federer/Djokovic will eventually be overthrown by a younger generation of stars. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Big Three's Dominance Continues (for Now) After Rafael Nadal Captures Another Major," 9 Sep. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for overthrow

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overthrow

The first known use of overthrow was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for overthrow



English Language Learners Definition of overthrow

: to remove (someone or something) from power especially by force
US, sports : to throw a ball over or past (someone)


over·​throw | \ ˌō-vər-ˈthrō How to pronounce overthrow (audio) \
overthrew\ -​ˈthrü \; overthrown\ -​ˈthrōn \; overthrowing

Kids Definition of overthrow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : overturn sense 1 Wind overthrew the flower pots.
2 : to cause the fall or end of : destroy Rebels overthrew the government.


over·​throw | \ ˈō-vər-ˌthrō How to pronounce overthrow (audio) \

Kids Definition of overthrow (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of causing the fall or end of : the state of being overthrown : defeat

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Comments on overthrow

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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