views updated May 11 2018

o·ver·rule / ˌōvərˈroōl/ • v. [tr.] reject or disallow by exercising one's superior authority: the Supreme Court overruled the lower court. ∎  reject the decision or argument of (someone): he was overruled by his senior managers.


views updated Jun 11 2018


The refusal by a judge to sustain an objection set forth by an attorney during a trial, such as an objection to a particular question posed to a witness. To make void, annul, supersede, or reject through a subsequent decision or action.

A judicial decision is overruled when a later decision, made by the same tribunal or a higher court in the same system, hands down a decision concerning the identical question of law, which is in direct opposition to the earlier decision. The earlier decision is thereby overruled and deprived of its authority as precedent.