[ verb oh-ver-turn; noun oh-ver-turn ]
See synonyms for: overturnoverturnedoverturning on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object)
  1. to cause (something) to turn onto its side, face, or back; upset: to overturn a vase.

  2. to destroy the power or validity of; overthrow; defeat: The conspiracy finally overturned the regime.The new findings have not overturned the theory itself.

  1. 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)
  1. to turn onto its side, face, or back; capsize: When his canoe overturned, he lost scientific instruments and journals.

  1. the act of overturning.

  2. the state of being overturned.

Origin of overturn

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

synonym study For overturn

1. See upset.

Other words for overturn

Other words from overturn

  • o·ver·turn·a·ble, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use overturn in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for overturn


  1. to turn or cause to turn from an upright or normal position

  2. (tr) to overthrow or destroy

  1. (tr) to invalidate; reverse: the bill was passed in the Commons but overturned in the Lords

  1. 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