over·​write | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrīt How to pronounce overwrite (audio) , ˌō-və- \
overwrote\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrōt How to pronounce overwrite (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overwritten\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈri-​tᵊn How to pronounce overwrite (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overwriting\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrī-​tiŋ How to pronounce overwrite (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 This new backup will overwrite and encrypt your previous backups. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 20 June 2021 For Android phones, make sure the data is encrypted, perform a factory reset, remove the SIM card, then overwrite the data with an app such as Shreddit – Data Eraser (free) or AVG Cleaner (free or subscription). Washington Post, 20 May 2021 Among other changes, Democrats’ bill would essentially overwrite such changes by setting a nationwide floor on ballot access. New York Times, 11 May 2021 As a result, an attacker could insert strategic system links that direct the driver to overwrite the wrong file or even run malicious code. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 11 Feb. 2021 The Trump administration tried to overwrite those state-specific deals, but the decision is currently held up with a lawsuit, which the Biden administration could easily settle in court. Purbita Saha, Popular Science, 9 Dec. 2020 Customers pushing ransomware could use the list to overwrite the UEFI to make large numbers of machines unbootable. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 3 Dec. 2020 The new Internal Market Bill would allow the U.K. government to overwrite those rules if there was no free trade deal. Greg Norman, Fox News, 1 Oct. 2020 The new Internal Market Bill would allow the U.K. government to overwrite those rules if there was no free trade deal. Greg Norman, Fox News, 1 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for overwrite

Time Traveler

The first known use of overwrite was in 1820

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overwrite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwrite. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for overwrite



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

Nglish: Translation of overwrite for Spanish Speakers


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