For example, Bob is not very high ranking in the company, but he is the safety manager. Bob tells Rich not to do something because it is not safe. Jim is Rich's boss and tells him to ignore Bob. Jim ______ Bob. Word or phrase would be great.

Edit: For clarity, I'm looking for a word that what Jim was wrong, or at least not cool, for doing what he did.

Perhaps a better example would be one parent tells a kid to do something and the other parent tells the kid they don't have to do it.

  • "Countermanded"? Merriam-Webster defines countermand as "1: to to revoke (a command) by a contrary order 2: to recall or order back by a by a superseding contrary order."
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 7:44

5 Answers 5


Jim overrules Bob.

Oxford Dictionaries says: "To reject or disallow by using one's superior authority."

  • I'm looking for something that has the connotation that Jim was wrong to do so. I will edit the question to clarify.
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 3:39

Maybe you mean :

"Jim overrode Bob's recommandations/instructions."

Merriam-Webster : Override

  • to make (something) no longer valid
  • to have more importance or influence than (something)
  • to stop an action that is done automatically by using a special command

I know you are looking for a word that implies that interference isn't legitimate, but if you can't find any, I would suggest using an adverb such as "wrongfully".

  • 1
    What about undermine?
    – Kevin
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 5:46
  • 1
    @kevin: undermine captures a part of it—that Jim's interference detracts from Bob's authority. That in itself is uncool. But if Jim did it intentionally, perhaps out of some dislike for Bob, you might say he was trying to thwart Bob in his exercise of authority. That is even worse. If Jim continually meddles like this, he is trying to usurp Bob's authority, which is evil—a form of backstabbing Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 6:24

I think meddle carries the negative connotation you are looking for:

  • (usually foll by with) to interfere officiously or annoyingly

  • to involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere.

The Feee Dictionary


Jim subverted Bob.

Subvert : undermine the power or authority of (an established system or institution)


Jim sabotaged Bob's authority.

I haven't found a dictionary definition that makes this usage clear. But here's a nice example:

One of the worst things that you can do to your au pair is to sabotage her authority with your kids. (http://aupairmom.com/sabotage-your-au-pairs-authority-3-easy-ways/2009/03/08/celiaharquail/)

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