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 Russia’s Bolshevik Revolution takes place as forces led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin overthrow the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. Fox News, "This Day in History: Nov. 7," 7 Nov. 2020 Watch teams that try deep shots each weekend and overthrow or underthrow them. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ryan Day thinks Ohio State’s deep passing game is ‘tremendous’: Doug Lesmerises’ observations," 1 Nov. 2020 Sudan is on a fragile path to democracy after a popular uprising last year led the military to overthrow the longtime autocrat, Omar al-Bashir. Arkansas Online, "Trump: Sudan to join UAE, Bahrain in recognizing Israel," 23 Oct. 2020 Shamblin, Frost and Gibson were Jaybirds who sought to overthrow the Woodpecker Republican stronghold and deny Blacks the right to vote or run for office. Roy Kent, Chron, "Jaybird Monument one step closer to moving from Richmond to Sugar Land," 22 Oct. 2020 Members of the group—including many police and army officers—plotted to overthrow then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government and restore a hard-line nationalist regime to power. Alexander Clapp, The New Republic, "The Vampire Ship," 28 Sep. 2020 According to the Justice Department, Solomon and Teeter were part of a subgroup of the Boogaloo Bois known as the Boojahideen that wants to overthrow the government and replace the police. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "2 members of far-right group Boogaloo Bois charged with attempting to support Hamas," 5 Sep. 2020 As recently as last month, Lukashenko was accusing Moscow of engineering plots to overthrow his government and even of sending mercenaries to Belarus to disrupt the presidential election. Andrew Higgins And Ivan Nechepurenko, Star Tribune, "Under siege, Lukashenko in Belarus, turns to Putin in Moscow," 15 Aug. 2020 An Orange County man wrongly jailed for 27 months in Vietnam for alleged actions to overthrow the government is home and, in his first public remarks Wednesday, thanked the community of residents and legislators who fought for his safe return. Los Angeles Times, "O.C. man jailed in Vietnam for 27 months returns home, thanks community of people fighting for his release," 28 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

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overthrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overthrow. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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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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