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 Four years later, King Farouk was overthrown in a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Fortune, "Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, ‘pharaoh’ president ousted during Arab Spring, dies at 91," 25 Feb. 2020 The defendants included the businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala who, along with two others, was facing a life sentence for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government. Jomana Karadsheh And Sheena Mckenzie, CNN, "Turkey acquits defendants in controversial 2013 Gezi Park protest trial," 18 Feb. 2020 The video, which features a young Hawaiian woman explaining how the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown by a group of American sugar planters in 1893, caught me completely off guard. Brianna Holt, Quartz, "Social media has become an inclusive alternative to history textbooks," 3 Jan. 2020 A year later the square's festive mood was restored as the country celebrated the arrival of its first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, but another year after that there was more chaos when he was overthrown. Anthony Sattin, Condé Nast Traveler, "As Travelers Return to Egypt, Look Past Cairo," 24 Dec. 2019 The top tier reflects this split: Sanders and Warren represent those who believe the systems in Washington have worked against middle- and working-class Americans for too long and need to be overthrown. CBS News, "Iowa caucuses: Live updates as Democrats face their first test," 3 Feb. 2020 Democrats just want to overthrow the 2016 election results by any means possible. Joe Repya, Twin Cities, "Joe Repya: Disengage from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. Bring the troops home," 11 Oct. 2019 That pass appeared to be slightly overthrown, however, and instead of a potential touchdown to the wide-open Williams, the sophomore receiver made a full extension to haul it in and set the Tigers up in the red zone. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Bo Nix finally looks like a freshman as Auburn’s offense sputters in loss to Florida," 6 Oct. 2019 In other parts of the country, French food might signify the old, the passé, the establishment that had to be overthrown. New York Times, "Where The Times’s Restaurant Critic Likes to Eat," 27 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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Time Traveler for overthrow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overthrow

Last Updated

28 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overthrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overthrow. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for overthrow


How to pronounce overthrow (audio)

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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