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

In 7-on-7s on Friday, Williams made a nice catch on a corner route from Nathan Peterman and broke free on a seam route, beating Gareon Conley and safety Johnathan Abram over the top, before Mike Glennon overthrew him by several yards. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders practice report: TE Darren Waller standing out," 2 Aug. 2019 The Iranian government accused the British-Iranian national of working with organizations allegedly attempting to overthrow the regime. Bianca Britton, CNN, "Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe ends her two-week hunger strike in Iran," 29 June 2019 Above the level of punitive strikes and regional repercussions there is little room for anything but a campaign to destroy Iranian nuclear sites or overthrow the regime. The Economist, "Breaking the nuclear deal ratchets up the conflict between Iran and America," 28 June 2019 In the remake, Nala chooses to escape Scar’s tyrannical rule at Pride Rock to seek out help in overthrowing him and bringing order back to the desolate and starving Pride Lands. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "All the differences between the original Lion King and the remake," 23 July 2019 In a story loosely based on Shakespeare’s play about the melancholy Dane, Scar is plotting to overthrow his brother and usurp his brother’s mate (Alfre Woodard) — and much worse — casting the blame on poor Simba. Michael O'sullivan, Twin Cities, "‘The Lion King’ feels way more like ‘Hamlet’ this time — and that’s why it’s so good," 18 July 2019 Five days later, the Bay of Pigs invasion originally planned by the Eisenhower administration but green-lit by Kennedy failed miserably in an effort to overthrow Cuban president Fidel Castro. Jamie Turner, cleveland.com, "11 things you might not know about Apollo 11 and the Space Race: Apollo 11 at 50," 17 July 2019 In March, Solicitor General William Lamar issued a memorandum stating letters seized through the postal system revealed a nationwide plot by anarchists to overthrow the government. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "100 years ago, the U.S. prepared for a nationwide anarchist attack," 3 July 2019 In April, Sudanese protests led to a military coup that overthrew the 30-year dictatorship of President Omar al-Bashir. The Christian Science Monitor, "Democracies try to boost public service," 1 July 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

15 Aug 2019

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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
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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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