[ 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 formso·ver·turn·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overturn

British Dictionary definitions for overturn


verb (ˌəʊvəˈtɜːn)

to turn or cause to turn from an upright or normal position
(tr) to overthrow or destroy
(tr) to invalidate; reversethe 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

Word Origin and History for overturn



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