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[verb oh-ver-turn; noun oh-ver-turn] /verb ˌoʊ vərˈtɜrn; noun ˈoʊ vərˌtɜrn/
verb (used with object)
to destroy the power of; overthrow; defeat; vanquish.
to turn over on its side, face, or back; upset:
to overturn a vase.
verb (used without object)
to turn on its side, face, or back; capsize:
The boat overturned during the storm.
the act of overturning.
the state of being overturned.
Origin of overturn
Middle English word dating back to 1175-1225; See origin at over-, turn
Related forms
overturnable, adjective
1. conquer. 2. See upset. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overturned
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I found her filled with apprehensions, and firmly believing that the present government was to be overturned.

    A Residence in France J. Fenimore Cooper
  • In the scuffle the bench was overturned, and both landed on the floor.

    The Camp in the Snow William Murray Graydon
  • As they struggled to and fro the table was overturned and the vase dashed into a thousand fragments.

    Twice Told Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • She arose so hastily that the music-stool was overturned, and allowed to lie where it fell.

    The Crack of Doom Robert Cromie
  • As an answer she could only shout back that a girl in an overturned punt was in far greater danger than she.

    Witches Cove Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for overturned


verb (ˌəʊvəˈtɜːn)
to turn or cause to turn from an upright or normal position
(transitive) to overthrow or destroy
(transitive) to invalidate; reverse: the bill was passed in the Commons but overturned in the Lords
noun (ˈəʊvəˌtɜːn)
the act of overturning or the state of being overturned
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for overturned



early 13c., of a wheel, "to rotate, roll over," from over- + turn (v.). Attested from c.1300 in general transitive sense "to throw over violently;" figurative meaning "to ruin, destroy" is from late 14c. Of judicial decisions, "to reverse," it is attested from 1826. Related: Overturned; overturning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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