over·​write | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrīt How to pronounce overwrite (audio) , ˌō-və- \
overwrote\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrōt How to pronounce overwrote (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overwritten\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈri-​tᵊn How to pronounce overwritten (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overwriting\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrī-​tiŋ How to pronounce overwriting (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \

Definition of overwrite

transitive verb

1 : to write over the surface of
2 : to write in inflated or overly elaborate style

intransitive verb

: to write too much or in an overly elaborate style

Examples of overwrite in a Sentence

The author has a tendency to overwrite.
Recent Examples on the Web Instead, company engineers issued a microcode update that caused CPUs to overwrite buffer contents with garbage every time the processor began a new security-sensitive operation. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Plundering of crypto keys from ultrasecure SGX sends Intel scrambling again," 9 June 2020 What if the other clichés — of dice cast and Rubicons crossed — have finally overwritten this one? Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "What if the most important election of our lifetimes happened already?," 7 Apr. 2020 Before the reset starts, click Change settings to choose whether the Data erasure feature is enabled; this essentially overwrites data on disk and makes sure it can't be recovered. David Nield, Wired, "Reset Your Computer Once a Year for a Happier Life," 8 Mar. 2020 Ohio Benefits, an information technology system that has cost the state $1.2 billion since it was implemented six years ago, has been found to overwrite and eliminate historical documentation needed to prove Ohio Medicaid enrollees’ eligibility. cleveland, "State reveals $1.2 billion Ohio Benefits system riddled with defects a year out from Medicaid work requirements," 15 Jan. 2020 Both Windows and Mac OS X include utilities that securely erase drives by overwriting existing contents with random 0s and 1s. Corinne Iozzio, Scientific American, "How to Destroy a Hard Drive—Permanently," 18 Dec. 2015 Here, a downtempo beat is liable to be overwritten by a stuttering car horn and come out on the other side as a Bon Iver sample. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 40 Greatest Dance Albums of the Decade: Staff List," 26 Nov. 2019 But that means that each individual movie in the Terminator series can radically change the future — and essentially overwrite the events of other movies. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Untangling the Terminator Franchise's Complicated Timeline," 1 Nov. 2019 Because the bucket’s permissions let anyone write code to it, the attackers simply tack their Magecart malware onto the file, then overwrite the script that had been there. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Hack Brief: A Card-Skimming Hacker Group Hit 17K Domains—and Counting," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overwrite.' 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 overwrite

1820, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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The first known use of overwrite was in 1820

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Last Updated

27 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overwrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwrite. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for overwrite


How to pronounce overwrite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overwrite

: to replace information in (a computer file) with new information
: to write in a way that is too detailed or complicated

More from Merriam-Webster on overwrite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overwrite

Nglish: Translation of overwrite for Spanish Speakers

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