over·​turn | \ ˌō-vər-ˈtərn How to pronounce overturn (audio) \
overturned; overturning; overturns

Definition of overturn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to turn over : upset overturned the vase
2a : invalidate, destroy the degree to which accident could overturn the schemes of wise men— Oscar Handlin
b : reverse sense 2a overturn a court ruling

intransitive verb

: upset, turn over The car went off the road and overturned several times.


over·​turn | \ ˈō-vər-ˌtərn How to pronounce overturn (audio) \

Definition of overturn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act of overturning : the state of being overturned
2 : the sinking of surface water and rise of bottom water in a lake or sea that results from changes in temperature that commonly occur in spring and fall

Synonyms & Antonyms for overturn

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of overturn in a Sentence

Verb The dog overturned the bowl. The truck went off the road and overturned several times. The court overturned his conviction.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On Monday, the Assembly voted to overturn Mayor Dave Bronson’s veto of the ordinance. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2022 Republicans voted unanimously to overturn the Biden permitting rule, while Manchin was the only Democrat to support it. Matthew Daly, ajc, 4 Aug. 2022 During Michigan’s 11th congressional district debate earlier this year in Pontiac, Mr. Levin asked Ms. Stevens to explain why Aipac was backing her as well as some Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election. Teresa Mettela, WSJ, 26 July 2022 None of the opinions from the court's recent term, which began October 2021, indicate the justices have voted to overturn the 2020 election. Sudiksha Kochi, USA TODAY, 19 July 2022 Her focus has intensified since a draft of the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked in May showing the court’s conservative majority was poised to overturn Roe. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 16 July 2022 Teen hitmaker Olivia Rodrigo, joined onstage by English singer Lily Allen, unleashed her own furious missive to the justices who voted to overturn Roe, noting that many women and girls would die as a result of their decision. Suzy Expositostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2022 But in a pair of cases brought by women’s health clinics and the Justice Department, the five members of the Court who would later vote to overturn Roe v. Wade effectively held that the Texas law could not be challenged before it was enforced. David Cole, The New York Review of Books, 8 July 2022 Such tactics towards the justices are increasingly common in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which Kavanaugh voted with the majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 8 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During her set, the 19-year-old took a moment to give a powerful speech about the terrifying implications of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn of Roe v. Wade. Alice Cary, Vogue, 28 July 2022 That number jumped to 90 in the week following Roe’s overturn. Wired, 24 July 2022 The big news out of the U.S. Supreme Court may have been its overturn of Roe v. Wade, but last week’s historic swearing in of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, shouldn’t be overlooked. Jena Mcgregor, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Is the board unexpectedly upsetting homeowners so that an overturn vote is all but certain? Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 July 2022 The panel on Thursday focused on the intense pressure placed on Pence by Trump and others to single-handedly overturn Joe Biden's electoral victory in the 2020 presidential race. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 16 June 2022 There's going to be an effort – there’s also going to be a hearing devoted to the effort to find alternative electors and overturn at the state level. NBC News, 12 June 2022 In response, the committee laid out numerous ways its lawyers say Mr. Meadows was deeply involved in the effort to the overturn the 2020 election. New York Times, 23 Apr. 2022 Hundreds of Activision Blizzard employees are walking out Thursday in Texas, California, Minnesota and New York to protest the overturn of Roe v. Wade and demand protections. Shannon Liao, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overturn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of overturn


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of overturn was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near overturn



overturn the decision

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Statistics for overturn

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Overturn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overturn. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for overturn


over·​turn | \ ˌō-vər-ˈtərn How to pronounce overturn (audio) \
overturned; overturning

Kids Definition of overturn

1 : to turn over or upside down Waves overturned the boat.
2 : to reverse or cancel something previously decided or ordered The judge overturned the lower court's ruling.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of overturn

More from Merriam-Webster on overturn

Nglish: Translation of overturn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overturn for Arabic Speakers


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