over·write | \ˌō-vər-ˈrīt, ˌō-və-\
overwrote\ˌō-vər-ˈrōt, ˌō-və- \; overwritten\ˌō-vər-ˈri-tᵊn, ˌō-və- \; overwriting\ˌō-vər-ˈrī-tiŋ, 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

By the time Egyptian authorities recovered the video, more than a week after it had been requested by the Italians, most of it had been erased, overwritten by later surveillance recordings. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "Egypt Hands Over Video in Murder Case — Damaged and 2 Years Late," 1 June 2018 His ebullient Schützenstrasse Quarter complex, built on the site of the former death strip, completely overwrites the area’s deadly history. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "What the dismantling of the Berlin Wall can teach us as Trump tries to build his wall," 21 June 2018 Denzel Washington is better positioned than any other living actor to overwrite Spacey’s performance. Constance Grady, Vox, "Your guide to the 17 most important nominees at this year’s Tonys," 7 June 2018 Some versions of stage 2 also possess a self-destruct capability that works by overwriting a critical portion of the device firmware and then rebooting, a process that renders the device unusable. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Hackers infect 500,000 consumer routers all over the world with malware," 23 May 2018 And if the assistant gets anything off, doctors can manually overwrite it. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Does Your Doctor Need a Voice Assistant?," 1 May 2018 Now my mother is making over the garden in rambling color, overwriting its history, once again, with olive trees, a fig, kitchen herbs, and a jacaranda. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Walking Through the Past Into New Motherhood," 10 Apr. 2018 The space agency often reused its expensive magnetic tapes, erasing and overwriting data. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "These Rare NASA Photos Were Saved From the Trash," 11 Apr. 2018 That came with obvious pluses — Minerva gained superhuman strength and speed — but also with a considerable drawback, with the animal side of her repeatedly overpowering and slowly overwriting her rational mind. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Is 'Wonder Woman 2' Villain The Cheetah?," 9 Mar. 2018

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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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

Comments on overwrite

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lying above or upon

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