Definition of “overnight” - English Dictionary

“overnight” in British English

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overnightadjective, adverb

uk /ˌəʊ.vəˈnaɪt/ us /ˌoʊ.vɚˈnaɪt/

overnight adjective, adverb (TIME OF DAY)

B1 for or during the night:

an overnight stop in Paris
You can stay overnight if you want to.
Don't forget to pack an overnight bag (= a bag for things that you need when you stay away from home for a night).

More examples

  • Several of the injured were detained overnight in hospital.
  • The temperature could fall below zero overnight.
  • I emptied the closet and put my belongings into the black overnight case.
  • I'm travelling overnight so I've booked a sleeper.
  • The overnight invasion took the military experts unawares.

(Definition of “overnight” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“overnight” in American English

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overnightadjective, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈoʊ·vərˈnɑɪt/

for or during the night:

You can stay overnight with us if you want to.
fig. The book was an overnight success (= a sudden success).

(Definition of “overnight” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“overnight” in Business English

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uk /ˈəʊvənaɪt/ us

for or during the night:

an overnight stay/stop We made an overnight stop in Paris.
Stocks in Hong Kong closed moderately higher encouraged by overnight gains on Wall Street.

sudden and unexpected:

Like many so-called overnight successes, she had been working hard for quite some time.


uk /ˌəʊvəˈnaɪt/ us

for or during the night:

I took a train overnight.

suddenly or quickly, and often unexpectedly:

Building a project like this doesn't happen overnight.
The company almost overnight reformed itself as a real estate developer.
Major capital expenditure is rarely recouped overnight.


uk /ˌəʊvəˈnaɪt/ us

[ I ] TRANSPORT to stay somewhere for a night:

We overnighted at Frankfurt before flying on to Chennai.

[ T ] US COMMUNICATIONS to send a letter or package to be delivered by the end of the next day:

I told him to overnight the contract to me.

(Definition of “overnight” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)