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[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 overturned
  • Fanned by high winds, fires from overturned cookstoves and ruptured gas mains spread.
  • Breeding for hunting is continuing pending a court case in which the industry is trying to have the regulations overturned.
  • New research has overturned the dogma that cigarette addiction takes years to develop.
  • Old ideas are overturned by new data or in this case refined.
  • Even those, of course, can be subsequently overturned.
  • The religious community has tried to use any number of tactics to have the verdict overturned but they offer no real evidence.
  • Science has only theory, which no matter how powerful or demonstrable, still awaits to be overturned.
  • Many of the criticisms were later overturned, but the damage to her reputation was already done.
  • They said that if the sod was overturned and wheat was planted then that would cause more rain to fall.
  • All of the former's grim predictions had been decisively overturned by events.
British Dictionary definitions for overturned


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 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
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