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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for overturned
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After his survey he went behind the bar and got the revolver from under an overturned pail.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • It was composed of a few overturned omnibuses; for the true Parisian is a cynic.

    The Slave Of The Lamp Henry Seton Merriman
  • Everything had been in vain, and we had run against the overturned van.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • You might have taken her for some fairy of the springs who had overturned her urn on herself.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • Then he reached for his overturned chair, set it on its legs, and threw himself into it.

    The Woman-Haters Joseph C. Lincoln
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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