[ verb oh-ver-turn; noun oh-ver-turn ]
/ verb ˌoʊ vərˈtɜrn; noun ˈoʊ vərˌtɜrn /
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See synonyms for: overturn / overturned on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)

to cause (something) to turn onto its side, face, or back; upset: to overturn a vase.
to destroy the power or validity of; overthrow; defeat: The conspiracy finally overturned the regime.The new findings have not overturned the theory itself.
to reverse (an official or legal decision): Rather than accept defeat, the company filed a complaint in federal appeals court to overturn the ruling.

verb (used without object)

to turn onto its side, face, or back; capsize: When his canoe overturned, he lost scientific instruments and journals.


the act of overturning.
the state of being overturned.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of overturn

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English; see origin at over-, turn

synonym study for overturn

1. See upset.


o·ver·turn·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences 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