1. for or during the night: to stay overnight.
  2. on or during the previous evening: Preparations were made overnight.
  3. very quickly; suddenly: New suburbs sprang up overnight.


  1. done, made, occurring, or continuing during the night: an overnight stop; an overnight decision.
  2. staying for one night: a group of overnight guests.
  3. designed to be used on a trip or for a journey lasting one night or only a few nights.
  4. intended for delivery on the next day: overnight letters; an overnight package.
  5. valid for one night: The corporal got an overnight pass.
  6. occurring suddenly or within a very short time: a comedian who became an overnight sensation.


  1. Informal. an overnight stay or trip: Our daughter had an overnight at a friend’s house.
  2. Informal. a permit for overnight absence, as from a college dormitory: She had an overnight the night of the prom.
  3. the previous evening.

verb (used without object)

  1. to have an overnight stay or trip: We’ll overnight in Denver, then fly on to San Diego.

adverb (ˌəʊvəˈnaɪt)

  1. for the duration of the nightwe stopped overnight
  2. in or as if in the course of one night; suddenlythe situation changed overnight

adjective (ˈəʊvəˌnaɪt) (usually prenominal)

  1. done in, occurring in, or lasting the nightan overnight stop
  2. staying for one nightovernight guests
  3. lasting one nightan overnight trip; an overnight bank loan
  4. for use during a single nightovernight clothes
  5. occurring in or as if in the course of one night; suddenan overnight victory

verb (intr)

  1. to stay the night

adv.early 14c., from over- + night (n.). Originally “on the preceding evening;” sense of “during the night” is attested from 1530s. Meaning “in the course of a single night, hence seemingly instantaneously” is attested from 1939.

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