[verb oh-ver-turn; noun oh-ver-turn]
See more synonyms for overturn on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to destroy the power of; overthrow; defeat; vanquish.
  2. to turn over on its side, face, or back; upset: to overturn a vase.
verb (used without object)
  1. to turn on its side, face, or back; capsize: The boat overturned during the storm.
  1. the act of overturning.
  2. 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

Synonyms for overturn

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1. conquer. 2. See upset.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overturned

Contemporary Examples of overturned

Historical Examples of overturned

  • After his survey he went behind the bar and got the revolver from under an overturned pail.


    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.


    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)
  1. to turn or cause to turn from an upright or normal position
  2. (tr) to overthrow or destroy
  3. (tr) to invalidate; reversethe bill was passed in the Commons but overturned in the Lords
noun (ˈəʊvəˌtɜːn)
  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

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