Definition of overturn in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈtəːn/
[with object]
1Tip (something) over so that it is on its side or upside down: the crowd proceeded to overturn cars and set them on fire
More example sentences
  • More than 4,000 students overturned cars and threw bottles out of windows at a university in Jiujiang, in the southern province of Jiangxi.
  • A red-haired woman is taken away from the table after she overturns a full bowl of food.
  • It was overturning cars and knocking over down buildings, trying desperately to catch Jordan.
1.1 [no object] Turn over and come to rest upside down: a coach hit a car and overturned
More example sentences
  • The car then overturned, coming to rest on its roof on the hard shoulder.
  • The tragedy happened when the Vauxhall hit the central reservation and overturned, coming to rest on the hard shoulder.
  • Any rower whose boat overturns in the ship channel faces a tough job getting to dry land safely.
capsize, turn turtle, keel over, tip over, topple over, turn over, overbalance, turn topsy-turvy;
Nautical  pitchpole
upset, tip over, topple over, turn over, throw over, overthrow, knock over, upend, invert, turn topsy-turvy
informal roll
Scottish & Northern Irish  cowp
archaic overset
2Abolish, invalidate, or reverse (a previous system, decision, situation, etc.): the results overturned previous findings he fought for eight years to overturn a conviction for armed robbery
More example sentences
  • She said she had taken on her chairmanship in December 2003, determined to overturn a previous board decision not to renew Mr Ramsay's contract.
  • Residents hope they can overturn the decision.
  • He introduced reliable methods of assessment and measurement, and an epidemiological framework, and thereby overturned many of the previous conclusions.
cancel, reverse, rescind, repeal, revoke, retract, countermand, withdraw, take back, rule against, disallow, override, overrule, veto, set aside, quash, overthrow, repudiate, recant, annul, nullify, declare null and void, invalidate, negate, void, abrogate;
Law  vacate
archaic recall


Pronunciation: /ˈəʊvətəːn/
1An act of overturning something.
Example sentences
  • For the most part the only people who actually bothered to look at the registration rolls and allow the overturn of bogus objections were a few retirees who volunteer as polling officials during elections.
  • After the overturn of the Qing dynasty, Chinese intellectuals turned their eyes to Western countries and sought new ideas.
  • We had five overturned sledge accidents - every one of our sledges suffered an overturn or two, but luckily no significant damage was incurred.
1.1 [mass noun] Ecology The occasional (typically twice yearly) mixing of the water of a thermally stratified lake.
Example sentences
  • The pattern of polygonal ridges bounding dish-shaped depressions is interpreted as the product primarily of embryonic overturn of this gravitationally unstable system.
  • In addition oceanic overturn might have brought biologically toxic bottom waters to the surface during periods of climatic change.
  • Some of the largest mafic magmatic events may be related to catastrophic mantle overturn events or slab avalanches.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over|turn

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words