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)

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 Capitol attack: 11 members of anti-government extremist group the Oath Keepers, including leader Stewart Rhodes, were indicted Thursday on seditious conspiracy charges for trying to overthrow the government on Jan. 6. Amy Nakamura, USA TODAY, 14 Jan. 2022 Sedition is a serious federal crime that is defined in the US Code as two or more people trying to overthrow the US government. Aj Willingham, CNN, 14 Jan. 2022 Dernulc, the Republican Party leader questions whether or not the people attacking the Capitol were trying to overthrow the government. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, 5 Jan. 2022 People trying to overthrow or change elections was selected by two-thirds of those surveyed. Karlyn Bowman, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 Witt’s candidacy was boosted one recent evening in the Lincoln dining room of the Capitol Hill Club, a private GOP hangout for 70 years frequented by the kind of establishment Republican insiders the MAGA squad is plotting to overthrow. Colby Itkowitz, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Dec. 2021 The overarching message that Netflix wants to convey seems to be that family is more important than being punished for a crime, even if that crime is trying to overthrow your family. Rachel Handler, Vulture, 18 Nov. 2021 Instead, prosecutors prepared new charges, accusing Kavala of trying to overthrow the government. Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2021 Instead, prosecutors prepared new charges, accusing Kavala of trying to overthrow the government. Arkansas Online, 24 Oct. 2021

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

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Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overthrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overthrow. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for overthrow



English Language Learners Definition of overthrow

: to remove (someone or something) from power especially by force
: 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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