over·​throw | \ ˌō-vər-ˈthrō How to pronounce overthrow (audio) \
overthrew\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈthrü How to pronounce overthrow (audio) \; overthrown\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈthrōn How to pronounce overthrow (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 Texas invites this court to overthrow the votes of the American people and choose the next president of the United States. Tal Kopan, SFChronicle.com, "These California House Republicans back Texas’ suit to overturn presidential election," 11 Dec. 2020 This magazine was founded 65 years ago to protest — no, to overthrow — a stultifying liberal consensus that viewed history as a train and itself as the destination. The Editors, National Review, "Here’s to 65 Years of Shattering the Liberal Consensus," 4 Dec. 2020 Federal authorities this month charged over a dozen men in connection with a plot to violently overthrow the government of Michigan by storming the Capitol, kidnapping Whitmer, and trying her for treason. Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg.com, "Whitmer Rebukes Trump After ‘Lock Her Up’ Chants at Rally," 17 Oct. 2020 The next day, the president ordered the CIA to prevent Allende from being inaugurated or, if that wasn’t possible, to overthrow the Chilean government, according to documents published by the National Security Archive. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Donald Kendall, who built PepsiCo into a soda and snack-food giant, dies at 99," 21 Sep. 2020 In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson charged Smith with treason for allegedly using his position to recruit and finance a ship bound for Venezuela in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government run by Spain, a U.S. ally. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "How President-elect Biden needs to handle investigation into son Hunter’s taxes," 11 Dec. 2020 After the war, he was elected mayor of New Orleans and worked with the White League in its attempt to overthrow the state government. Jeff Adelson, NOLA.com, "See 37 New Orleans streets, sites up for renaming, and who would be newly honored," 26 Nov. 2020 Biden appears more inclined to rely on robust diplomacy than efforts to overthrow antagonistic governments. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, Los Angeles Times, "On Latin America, Biden’s brand of diplomacy will be a major shift from Trump," 15 Nov. 2020 The case concluded in 2012 when U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts determined the government failed to prove its case and there was not proof of a real plot to overthrow the government or kill police. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Wolverine Watchmen members plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Here's what we know," 8 Oct. 2020

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

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overthrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overthrow. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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