over·​ride | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrīd How to pronounce override (audio) , ˌō-və- \
overrode\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrōd How to pronounce override (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overridden\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈri-​dᵊn How to pronounce override (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \; overriding\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈrī-​diŋ How to pronounce override (audio) , ˌō-​və-​ \

Definition of override

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to ride over or across : trample overrode the thin line of defenders
2 : to ride (an animal, such as a horse) too much or too hard
3a : to prevail over : dominate panic overrode everything else— Marcia Davenport
b : to set aside : annul override a veto the rights of the individual were being flagrantly overridden— C. L. Jones
c : to neutralize the action of (something, such as an automatic control) You must enter a code to override the alarm.
4 : to extend or pass over especially : overlap Huge waves override the beach.


over·​ride | \ ˈō-vər-ˌrīd How to pronounce override (audio) , ˈō-və- \

Definition of override (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a commission paid to managerial personnel on sales made by subordinates
3 : a device or system used to override a control
4 : an act or an instance of overriding

Examples of override in a Sentence

Verb Congress overrode the President's veto. These new rules override the old ones. Don't let anger override common sense. You must enter a code to override the alarm. She overrode the default settings on her computer.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The judge had the choice because Henderson was charged before lawmakers took away the option for judges to override the sentencing recommendation of jurors in capital cases. Fox News, 14 Oct. 2021 The document also requests details about how the Autopilot system interacts with the driver, including a list of situations that would cause the system to disengage, and details of how and when driver inputs can override the Autopilot functions. Annie White, Car and Driver, 2 Sep. 2021 Lawyer Quentin Rhoades said Thursday that there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence that children wearing masks prevents the spread of the coronavirus for the government to override that individual right. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2021 Felix Rivera, the Assembly member who spearheaded the ordinance, immediately called for the Assembly to override the veto. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Aug. 2021 Providing an explanation for the behavior and clear instructions might also help divers override what for some remains a reflexive fear of a potentially dangerous animal moving rapidly in their direction. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Aug. 2021 Each of the bills Hogan (R) vetoed Wednesday, except the measure decriminalizing possession of syringes, passed earlier this year with sufficient support for legislators to override the vetoes. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 Bronson could issue a veto on the proposal, but the assembly has the authority to override it. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Most of the court disputes so far have focused on whether governors have the legal authority to override mask mandates imposed by local officials. Chris Dolmetsch, Fortune, 17 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The software did not permit simple manual override by the pilots. Robert Zafft, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 The House currently stands at 430 members, which means a veto override would require roughly 286 votes, depending on who shows up in the chamber or votes by proxy. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, 8 Dec. 2020 While state lawmakers could bring a veto override, activists in North Carolina say what happened in Florida could dim those prospects. Lalee Ibssa, ABC News, 12 Sep. 2021 Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, the first override during his tenure as president. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, 29 Dec. 2020 Democratic leaders said Friday they have been told that the chamber will meet Tuesday morning for a veto override but were not told what bill or bills will be taken up. Hope Karnopp, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 July 2021 Lawmakers plan to take up the override of just the legislation related to pandemic benefits, according to Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke's office. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2021 Voters in 2012 rejected Higley's request for a bond override intended to help finance the construction project and pay for the new schools’ furniture, fixtures and equipment. Robert Anglen, The Arizona Republic, 23 July 2021 The board’s intervention was an override of multiple tiers of faculty governance in a way that to many smacked of politics. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, 29 May 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1931, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of override was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Override.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/override. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for override



English Language Learners Definition of override

: to make (something) no longer valid
: to have more importance or influence than (something)
: to stop an action that is done automatically by using a special command


over·​ride | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrīd How to pronounce override (audio) \
overrode\ -​ˈrōd \; overridden\ -​ˈri-​dᵊn \; overriding\ -​ˈrī-​diŋ \

Kids Definition of override

: to push aside as less important Don't let anger override sense.


transitive verb
over·​ride | \ ˌō-vər-ˈrīd How to pronounce override (audio) \
overrode\ -​ˈrōd How to pronounce override (audio) \; overridden\ -​ˈrid-​ᵊn How to pronounce override (audio) \; overriding

Legal Definition of override

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to prevail or take precedence over if, as is often the case, federal constitutional principles override state statutory or common law— H. P. Wilkins
2 : to set aside by virtue of superior authority overrode the jury's sentencing recommendation especially : annul sense 2 override a veto with the required majority


over·​ride | \ ˈō-vər-ˌrīd How to pronounce override (audio) \

Legal Definition of override (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a commission paid to managerial personnel on sales made by subordinates

called also override commission

2 : royalty
3 : an act or instance of overriding a legislative override


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