Definition of overturn in English:



  • 1Tip (something) over so that it is on its side or upside down.

    ‘the crowd proceeded to overturn cars and set them on fire’
    • ‘With that, the band thanked the sweaty crowd, threw down their guitars, overturned the drums and left without an encore.’
    • ‘More than 4,000 students overturned cars and threw bottles out of windows at a university in Jiujiang, in the southern province of Jiangxi.’
    • ‘It hit a local village, overturning boats and snapping trees like matchsticks.’
    • ‘In one incident, an articulated lorry was overturned while passengers in a car also had a lucky escape when their vehicle crashed through a nearby wall.’
    • ‘It was overturning cars and knocking over down buildings, trying desperately to catch Jordan.’
    • ‘Streetlights toppled over, trees were uprooted and some cars were overturned.’
    • ‘They threw objects at him, overturned his car, which exploded.’
    • ‘At least one car was overturned and others had windows smashed by what locals described as a mini tornado that swept through the area shortly before 1pm.’
    • ‘The zombies may be slow and weak, but they were still able to overturn a parked car.’
    • ‘Hopefully I would not get to a point where I was totally at one with the river because I had overturned the boat.’
    • ‘Vehicles were overturned, and bonfires were lit, one with a car as its main ingredient, and about 40 arrests were made.’
    • ‘Centred on the village of Clonee, the tornado overturned cars, ripped up poles and trees and damaged houses and gardens.’
    • ‘A newsagent's shop, pub, sex shop and a car were set alight and two other vehicles were overturned as riot police took to the streets in Burnley, Lancs.’
    • ‘A red-haired woman is taken away from the table after she overturns a full bowl of food.’
    • ‘A stuntman who has overturned cars and traded punches with Hollywood's finest is to turn his attention to helping save a little girl's life.’
    • ‘Suddenly, a storm came and huge waves almost overturned his boat.’
    • ‘Former Albion Rovers, Meadowbank and Shrewsbury player who once overturned a teammate's car on the way to buy a paper.’
    • ‘Their ordeal came to an end when the hijackers overturned their car at 04: 00 on Sunday morning.’
    • ‘Police in riot gear were called out at the campus after several cars were overturned, fires were started and mayhem ensued.’
    • ‘They overturned tables and threw chairs around, smashed glassware, and threatened and insulted employees.’
    fall, tumble, overbalance, tip, keel, drop, pitch, plunge, capsize, collapse, founder, plummet, dive, lose one's balance, go head over heels
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    1. 1.1[no object]Turn over and come to rest upside down.
      ‘a coach hit a car and overturned’
      • ‘All six men were thrown out of the boat as it overturned.’
      • ‘A Bury fire crew were called when the car overturned near to a petrol station on Stand Lane, Bury, at 3.40 am on Sunday.’
      • ‘At least four cars overturned Thursday evening near the village of Mekece, about halfway on its journey from Istanbul to Ankara.’
      • ‘The tragedy happened when the Vauxhall hit the central reservation and overturned, coming to rest on the hard shoulder.’
      • ‘A police officer escaped a bizarre accident with only minor injuries on Monday when a Port Authority crane overturned and smashed the boat he was in.’
      • ‘Any rower whose boat overturns in the ship channel faces a tough job getting to dry land safely.’
      • ‘The car then overturned, coming to rest on its roof on the hard shoulder.’
      • ‘The sailing boats and one of the rescue boats overturned, and police were brought in to help, along with an additional rescue boat from the cadets.’
      • ‘The boat almost overturned as it made a sharp turn, back toward the approaching boat.’
      • ‘According to survivors the boat overturned in heavy seas in a matter of minutes, leaving most of the passengers trapped inside.’
      • ‘The car overturned and rolled down an embankment, ending on its roof at the bottom of a grass bank off the M61 motorway on the outskirts of Bolton.’
      • ‘Three people were injured in the second accident in the north of the county when their car overturned on the Fanore road outside Lisdoonvarna at about 6pm.’
      • ‘It came to rest facing oncoming traffic, while the lorry also slewed around and shed its load, eventually overturning and ending up upside-down on the grass verge.’
      • ‘The initial report was that two Marine Corps safety boats had overturned near the reefs just over the cliffs from our squadron, and five personnel were unaccounted for.’
      • ‘There were delays on the A419 after a car overturned.’
      • ‘The boat overturned, and the people in it were swept into the foaming water, but were retrieved.’
      • ‘It hit a kerb and lamp post before careering back across Meggeson Avenue, crashing into the parked cars and overturning.’
      • ‘There is a moment of recognition and reconciliation before the boat overturns, and both, locked in a final embrace, are drowned.’
      • ‘It appeared that the vehicle had overturned and rolled a number of times before coming to rest on the roadside facing the opposite direction to which it was travelling.’
      • ‘The boat overturned about 150 yards from the cave entrance and at least three of the victims apparently became trapped beneath the boat.’
      capsize, turn turtle, keel over, tip over, topple over, turn over, overbalance, turn topsy-turvy
      upset, tip over, topple over, turn over, throw over, overthrow, knock over, upend, invert, turn topsy-turvy
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  • 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’
    • ‘Whether he can realistically hope to overturn the sizeable Labour majority in Barking is perhaps doubtful.’
    • ‘The Revolution redefined the cultural values signifying social prestige, and overturned the juridical system that had upheld status distinctions in the old regime.’
    • ‘And this new science has completely overturned traditional ideas about what children are like.’
    • ‘They will then be able to use the examinations appeals process to try to get the decisions overturned.’
    • ‘The regime has effectively overturned the principle of "One man, one vote".’
    • ‘The Electoral College would never have survived as a quaint anachronism of the American political system if its actions overturned the will of the people.’
    • ‘Residents hope they can overturn the decision.’
    • ‘This situation can only be overturned if power is instituted from below.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘"The disqualification was overturned on a technicality when the infringement was obvious.’
    • ‘Many local people feel the new procedures limit their chances to overturn decisions with which they disagree.’
    • ‘Let's hope the referee sees sense and overturns his decision.’
    • ‘While these men were not social revolutionaries bent on overturning the slave system in one bold stroke, nor were they solely foot draggers content to slow production.’
    • ‘York District Sports Council does not further the aims or benefits of community sport by disparaging this campaign, nor do they have the authority to overturn a democratic decision made two and a half years ago.’
    • ‘Such trends have been successfully overturned overseas, and with general public acceptance.’
    • ‘In so doing, it is overturning all existing relations between states and class.’
    • ‘I suspect that it will be raised time and time again until a future Government overturns that very silly decision of this Labour Government.’
    • ‘Many of the wars which have taken place during the historical period can be traced at least in part to such causes; and not a few governments or social systems have been overturned because of food issues.’
    • ‘Subvert the gender system to overturn capitalism.’
    • ‘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
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  • 1An act of overturning something.

    • ‘After the overturn of the Qing dynasty, Chinese intellectuals turned their eyes to Western countries and sought new ideas.’
    • ‘And that this explanation establishes the objective necessity for the overturn of these social relations if human progress is to resume.’
    • ‘We had five overturned sledge accidents - every one of our sledges suffered an overturn or two, but luckily no significant damage was incurred.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This sounds similar to earlier rumors of an overturn.’
    1. 1.1Ecology [mass noun]The occasional (typically twice yearly) mixing of the water of a thermally stratified lake.
      • ‘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.’