Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cause to turn over or capsize; upset.
  • transitive v. To cause the ruin or destruction of; overthrow. See Synonyms at overthrow.
  • transitive v. Law To invalidate or reverse (a decision) by legal means: "his continuing legal battles to overturn a draft-evasion conviction” ( Robert Lipsyte).
  • intransitive v. To turn over or capsize.
  • n. The act or process of overturning.
  • n. The state of having been overturned.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To turn over, capsize or upset (something)
  • v. To overthrow or destroy something
  • v. To reverse a decision; to overrule or rescind

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act off overturning, or the state of being overturned or subverted; overthrow.
  • transitive v. To turn or throw from a basis, foundation, or position; to overset.
  • transitive v. To subvert; to destroy; to overthrow.
  • transitive v. To overpower; to conquer.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To overset; upset; overthrow.
  • To subvert; ruin; destroy; bring to naught.
  • To overpower; conquer; overwhelm.
  • Synonyms Overturn, Overthrow, Subvert, Invert, upset, throw down, beat down, prostrate. The first three of the italicized words indicate violence and destructiveness. Invert is rarely used where the action is not careful and with a purpose: as, to invert a goblet to prevent its being filled. That which is overturned or overthrown is brought down from a standing or erect position to lie prostrate. Overthrow indicates more violence or energy than overturn, as throw is stronger than turn. That which is subverted is reached to the very bottom and goes to wreck in the turning: as, to subvert the very foundations of justice. To invert is primarily to turn upside down, but it may be used figuratively, of things not material, for turning wrong side before or reversing: as, to invert the order of a sentence. See defeat, v. t., and demolish.
  • To be overturned; capsize: as, a boat that is likely to overturn.
  • n. The state of being overturned or subverted; the act of overturning; overthrow.
  • n. Refrain; burden.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause the downfall of; of rulers
  • v. cause to overturn from an upright or normal position
  • n. the act of upsetting something
  • n. an improbable and unexpected victory
  • v. rule against
  • v. cancel officially
  • v. change radically
  • v. turn from an upright or normal position

Etymologies

over- +‎ turn (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • (The dissent did not address this issue, as the dissenting justices would have granted relief on the Miranda claim.) Interestingly enough, because today’s decision was 5 – 4, if one ignores Berghuis v. Thompkins, the Sixth Circuit appears to be more of an outlier, as the combined vote to overturn is habeas decisions would be33 – 3.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Is the Sixth Circuit the New Ninth (At Least in Habeas Cases)?

  • I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Obama and the Democrats (sounds like a bad Afghani doo-wop band) push the healthcare issue to the supreme court in an attempt to "overturn" the laws of economics and supply and demand.

    2 key Republican senators to oppose Sotomayor for high court

  • Bush rushed to judgment in 2000 based on incomplete results and the media immediately started treating him like the victor and Democratic efforts to count all the votes as efforts to "overturn" the election.

    Dems Confident in MT, VA Senate Outcomes

  • How exactly does a President "overturn" the Supreme Court's holdings in Roe/Casey?

    Balkinization

  • Ciaran - my understanding of the original construction philosophy is that it does not seek "overturn" x, y or z legislative acts.

    GOP Convention Day 1: Time to come home

  • And there would have to be a very heavy burden on the superdelegates collectively who have not decided to kind of overturn the will of the people.

    CNN Transcript Feb 28, 2008

  • Rwanda's Lake Kivu is one of the world's three "exploding lakes" and is at serious risk of "overturn," a process whereby huge amounts of carbon dioxide are released from under its surface, suffocating everyone in the surrounding areas.

    "MAIN" via Steve in Google Reader

  • On the other hand the room was silent on Fiorina's admission that she would "overturn" the

    Reason Magazine

  • Pro-choice Gergen knows that framing a question on abortion that includes the word "overturn" is the best way to assure a strong majority against.

    American Thinker

  • Gergen asked Scott Brown if he really intended to "overturn"

    American Thinker

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Comments

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  • Here were the outlines of grand political overturns, the filling up of which I was left to imagine at my leisure.

    - Richard Henry Dana Jr., Two Years Before the Mast, ch. 27

    September 9, 2008