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From Middle English overriden, from Old English oferrīdan, equivalent to over- +‎ ride. Cognate with Dutch overrijden, German überreiten, Danish override.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əʊ.vəˈɹaɪd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /oʊ.vɚˈɹaɪd/
  • (file)


override (third-person singular simple present overrides, present participle overriding, simple past overrode, past participle overridden)

  1. To ride across or beyond something.
    • 2021 October 20, “Network News: Commuter train crashes into buffers at Enfield Town”, in RAIL, number 942, page 8:
      Around 50 people were evacuated from a rush-hour London Overground service on October 12, after an eight-car train overrode the buffers at Enfield Town station.
  2. To ride over the top of something, usually forcibly.
    • 1981 August 18, National Transportation Safety Board, “Collision and Derailment”, in Railroad Accident Report: Rear-End Collision of Union Pacific Railroad Company Freight Trains Extra 3119 West and Extra 8044 West, Near Kelso, California, November 17, 1980[1], archived from the original on 29 March 2022, page 6:
      Separation of the caboose from the VAN train had caused the train to go into emergency braking and when Extra 3119 West struck the third rack car, the car overrode the locomotive, destroyed the remaining superstructure, and caused the locomotive to overturn the north rail. The near-instantaneous derailment of the rest of the train followed immediately.
  3. To ride a horse too hard.
  4. To counteract the normal operation of something; to countermand with orders of higher priority.
    Congress promptly overrode the president's veto, passing the bill into law.
  5. To give commands of a higher priority to an automated system; to take manual control of an automated system
    Manual controls allow the user to override the camera's default settings.
  6. (object-oriented programming) To define a new behaviour of a method by creating the same method of the superclass with the same name and signature.
    How the cat runs is defined in the method run() of the class Cat, which overrides the same method with the same signature of superclass called Mammal.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The form overrode is sometimes used as a past participle, in place of the standard overridden.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


override (plural overrides)

  1. A mechanism, device or procedure used to counteract an automatic control.
  2. A royalty.
  3. A device for prioritizing audio signals, such that certain signals receive priority over others.
  4. (object-oriented programming) A method with the same name and signature as a method in a superclass, which runs instead of that method, when an object of the subclass is involved.


Further reading[edit]