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

He’s well aware that the ruling triumvirate of Nadal/Federer/Djokovic will eventually be overthrown by a younger generation of stars. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Big Three's Dominance Continues (for Now) After Rafael Nadal Captures Another Major," 9 Sep. 2019 Brody Williams led off the inning with a base hit to deep center field for a triple, but the baseball was overthrown to third base and landed inside the Camarillo dugout, advancing Williams home on a dead ball. Manny Alvarez, Daily Pilot, "Newport Harbor Baseball Assn. defeats Camarillo to stay alive in PONY Bronco Super Region," 20 July 2019 Still, this backlash was relatively restrained when compared with the terrorist violence in the South that overthrew the first Reconstruction. E.j. Dionne Jr., The Mercury News, "Dionne: A time for choosing: Trump or John Paul Stevens?," 18 July 2019 The 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the shah caused ties to cool until the mid-1980s. Jon Gambrell, Fox News, "Iran looks warily to China for help as US sanctions resume," 12 Sep. 2018 The warnings were stark: Anarchists, radicals and socialists were actively plotting to overthrow the federal government and what better day to do than Independence Day. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "100 years ago, the U.S. prepared for a nationwide anarchist attack," 3 July 2019 Acosta was one of half a dozen former and active officers detained in recent days over allegations of plotting to overthrow Maduro. Anatoly Kurmanaev, BostonGlobe.com, "Venezuelan Navy captain accused of rebellion dies after signs of torture," 30 June 2019 Acosta was arrested June 21 and charged with treason for allegedly plotting to overthrow Maduro from power, Venezuela's communication minister Jorge Rodriguez told reporters. Stefano Pozzebon And Holly Yan, CNN, "Venezuelan Navy captain dies in government custody after allegations of abuse," 30 June 2019 Khamenei, who was then Iran’s President, was in New York for the U.N. General Assembly—the first visit by a top revolutionary leader since the 1979 upheaval that overthrew the shah. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "A Tanker War in the Middle East—Again?," 14 June 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

12 Sep 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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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