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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb overthrow differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of overthrow are conquer, defeat, overcome, reduce, subdue, and vanquish. While all these words mean "to get the better of by force or strategy," overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power.

violently overthrew the old regime

When might conquer be a better fit than overthrow?

While in some cases nearly identical to overthrow, conquer implies gaining mastery of.

Caesar conquered Gaul

How are the words defeat and vanquish related as synonyms of overthrow?

Defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals.

the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas

Where would overcome be a reasonable alternative to overthrow?

The meanings of overcome and overthrow largely overlap; however, overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle.

overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks

When is it sensible to use reduce instead of overthrow?

Although the words reduce and overthrow have much in common, reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender.

the city was reduced after a month-long siege

When can subdue be used instead of overthrow?

The synonyms subdue and overthrow are sometimes interchangeable, but subdue implies a defeating and suppression.

subdued the native tribes after years of fighting

When is vanquish a more appropriate choice than overthrow?

The words vanquish and overthrow are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, vanquish implies a complete overpowering.

vanquished the enemy and ended the war

Thesaurus Entries Near overthrow

Cite this Entry

“Overthrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/overthrow. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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