over·​throw | \ˌō-vər-ˈthrō \
overthrew\ˌō-​vər-​ˈthrü \; overthrown\ˌō-​vər-​ˈthrōn \; 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 \ 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

One woman, Baru Cormorant, vows to rise through the ranks of the imperial system to overthrow the empire from within. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "11 new sci-fi and fantasy books to check out this November," 1 Nov. 2018 In the past, the government has condemned U.S. sanctions as part of an international plot to overthrow Venezuela’s leftist government. Ian Talley, WSJ, "U.S. Plans Sanctions to Target Venezuela’s Gold Exports," 31 Oct. 2018 In effect, any attempt to overthrow the Kim regime would prompt North Korea to launch nukes at the United States. Alex Ward, Vox, "This is exactly how a nuclear war would kill you," 19 Oct. 2018 The defendants were part of a group trial of 280 people, mostly military personnel, accused of participating in an attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Carlotta Gall, BostonGlobe.com, "Turkey hands life sentences to 104 people over coup attempt," 22 May 2018 Some of those buildings might have been the work of rulers from the Umayyad dynasty, which al-Mu’tasim’s ancestors had overthrown in 750CE. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Medieval artisans built a glass-walled palace in the desert," 31 Aug. 2018 Marwan Kenzari: plays Jafar, the evil Grand vizier of Agrabah with plans to overthrow the Sultan. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Aladdin': Everything to Know About the Live-Action Remake of the Disney Classic," 5 July 2018 An impatient Jafar consults an evil spirit, who tells him the power to overthrow the Sultan resides in a battered lamp in the Cave of Wonders - a magical place only Aladdin can enter. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "It's a bumpy ride back to the boy-crazy '60s for the 6-woman cast of Great Lakes Theater's 'Beehive' (review)," 10 May 2018 Dunkin' Donuts is headquartered in Canton, Mass., the state that as one of the 13 American colonies, helped overthrow British monarchical rule. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Dunkin' Donuts launches Royal Wedding doughnut, but do Harry and Meghan know?," 9 May 2018

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

5 Dec 2018

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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

sports : to throw a ball over or past (someone)


over·​throw | \ˌō-vər-ˈthrō \
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 \

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 knickknack or trinket

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