9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[v. oh-ver-turn; n. oh-ver-turn] /v. ˌoʊ vərˈtɜrn; n. ˈoʊ vərˌtɜrn/
verb (used with object)
to destroy the power of; overthrow; defeat; vanquish.
to turn over on its side, face, or back; upset:
to overturn a vase.
verb (used without object)
to turn on its side, face, or back; capsize:
The boat overturned during the storm.
the act of overturning.
the state of being overturned.
Origin of overturn
1175-1225; Middle English; see over-, turn
Related forms
overturnable, adjective
1. conquer. 2. See upset. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overturn
  • They usually try to explain details that the original theories didn't cover, not overturn them completely.
  • Colleges also still have a chance to overturn the rule.
  • The law he wants to overturn has also hobbled libraries' efforts to digitize and share books, films, and music.
  • Indeed, as is implied by the form of the statement above, every overturn furnishes an example.
  • Three wheels vehicles are a security nightmare, prone to overturn.
  • No consistent differences have ever been found and it would take more than one rat study to overturn that.
  • Scientific revolutions are considered brilliant in proportion to the magnitude of the consensus they overturn.
  • She'd watched television cop shows: if you prove a juror engaged in misconduct, it could overturn the case.
  • And if they fail to produce it, a judge can overturn a conviction.
  • At first they seem of limited interest, but eventually they completely overturn existing products and markets.
British Dictionary definitions for overturn


verb (ˌəʊvəˈtɜːn)
to turn or cause to turn from an upright or normal position
(transitive) to overthrow or destroy
(transitive) to invalidate; reverse: the bill was passed in the Commons but overturned in the Lords
noun (ˈəʊvəˌtɜːn)
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
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Word Origin and History for overturn

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
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