overturn

To overturn something is to either flip it upside down or to invalidate it. An amateur kayaker might overturn her boat, while a judge may decide to overturn a previous judgment.

When you overturn a wheelbarrow or a tricycle, you literally turn it over. When judges overturn earlier rulings or voters overturn laws, they make them invalid, essentially reversing them. An earlier, more intense metaphorical meaning of this word was "violently overthrow a ruler or rulers." Overturn was originally used in the 13th century to describe a turning wheel.

Definitions of overturn
  1. verb
    cause to overturn from an upright or normal position
    synonyms: bowl over, knock over, tip over, tump over, turn over, upset
    tip over, tump over, turn over
    turn from an upright or normal position
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    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  2. verb
    turn from an upright or normal position
    “The big vase overturned
    synonyms: tip over, tump over, turn over
    bowl over, knock over, tip over, tump over, turn over, upset
    cause to overturn from an upright or normal position
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    types:
    capsize, turn turtle, turtle
    overturn accidentally
    upend
    become turned or set on end
    type of:
    turn
    change orientation or direction, also in the abstract sense
  3. verb
    change radically
    synonyms: revolutionise, revolutionize
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  4. noun
    the act of upsetting something
    synonyms: turnover, upset
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    type of:
    inversion, upending
    turning upside down; setting on end
  5. noun
    an improbable and unexpected victory
    synonyms: upset
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    type of:
    success
    an attainment that is successful
  6. verb
    cause the downfall of; of rulers
    synonyms: bring down, overthrow, subvert
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    types:
    revolutionize
    overthrow by a revolution, of governments
    type of:
    depose, force out
    force to leave (an office)
  7. verb
    rule against
    synonyms: override, overrule, overthrow, reverse
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    type of:
    decree, rule
    decide with authority
  8. verb
    cancel officially
    synonyms: annul, countermand, lift, repeal, rescind, reverse, revoke, vacate
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    types:
    go back on, renege, renege on, renegue on
    fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
    type of:
    cancel, strike down
    declare null and void; make ineffective
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