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[v. oh-ver-throh; n. oh-ver-throh] /v. ˌoʊ vərˈθroʊ; n. ˈoʊ vərˌθroʊ/
verb (used with object), overthrew, overthrown, overthrowing.
to depose, as from a position of power; overcome, defeat, or vanquish:
to overthrow a tyrant.
to put an end to by force, as a government or institution.
to throw or knock down; overturn; topple:
The heavy winds overthrew numerous telephone poles and trees.
to knock down and demolish.
to throw (something) too far.
Baseball. (of a pitcher) to throw too hard, often affecting control or straining the arm.
Archaic. to destroy the sound condition of (the mind).
verb (used without object), overthrew, overthrown, overthrowing.
to throw too far:
If I hadn't overthrown, it would have been a sure putout.
the act of overthrowing; state or condition of being overthrown.
deposition from power.
defeat; destruction; ruin.
Origin of overthrow
1300-50; Middle English; see over-, throw
Related forms
overthrower, noun
preoverthrow, noun
preoverthrow, verb (used with object), preoverthrew, preoverthrown, preoverthrowing.
unoverthrown, adjective
1. conquer, overpower. 4. destroy, raze, level. 11. fall. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overthrow
  • They team up to form coalitions to overthrow their foes, but they also reconcile after a fight.
  • Yet the overthrow of religion is not a part of the scientific agenda.
  • Its ability to overthrow the order of things and built a new conceptual pictures of the world time and again.
  • There are opposition figures who are not willing to accept this government and are interested in violent overthrow.
  • In his later years he dispatched three of his sons for alleged conspiracies to overthrow him, and redrew his will six times.
  • The goal of such movements is political change to overthrow a government or to challenge a government in some way.
  • The resource has always belonged to my department, but the other department is attempting an overthrow.
  • Since the true believers are right, they're trying to overthrow the false belief.
  • Rise up in the millions and overthrow the vicious dictators.
  • They have a plan for how political minorities can overthrow a majority culture.
British Dictionary definitions for overthrow


verb (ˌəʊvəˈθrəʊ) -throws, -throwing, -threw, -thrown
(transitive) to effect the downfall or destruction of (a ruler, institution, etc), esp by force
(transitive) to throw or turn over
(transitive) to throw (something, esp a ball) too far
noun (ˈəʊvəˌθrəʊ)
an act of overthrowing
downfall; destruction
  1. a ball thrown back too far by a fielder
  2. a run scored because of this
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
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Word Origin and History for overthrow

early 14c., "to knock down," from over- + throw (v.). Figurative sense of "to cast down from power, defeat" is attested from late 14c. Related: Overthrown; overthrowing. Earlier in same senses was overwerpen "to overturn (something), overthrow; destroy," from Old English oferweorpan (see warp (v.)).


1510s, "act of overthrowing," from over- + throw (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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