Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

overtake

play
verb over·take \ˌō-vər-ˈtāk\

Simple Definition of overtake

  • : to move up to and past (someone or something that is in front of you) by moving faster

  • : to go past another vehicle that is moving more slowly in the same direction

  • : to happen to or affect (someone) in a sudden and unexpected way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of overtake

overtookplay \-ˈtu̇k\overtakenplay \-ˈtā-kən\overtaking

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to catch up with b :  to catch up with and pass by

  3. 2 :  to come upon suddenly

Examples of overtake in a sentence

  1. She overtook the other runners and went on to win the race.

  2. The sign says No Overtaking.

  3. Seasickness can overtake passengers when the ship encounters a storm.



Origin of overtake

Middle English, from 1over + taken to take


First Known Use: 13th century



OVERTAKE Defined for Kids

overtake

play
verb over·take \ˌō-vər-ˈtāk\

Definition of overtake for Students

overtook \-ˈtu̇k\overtaken \-ˈtā-kən\overtaking

  1. 1 :  to catch up with and often pass <I overtook the runner ahead.>

  2. 2 :  to come upon or happen to suddenly or without warning <One night we were overtaken by a snow-storm while still a mile from the village … — Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up overtake? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a division or portion of a pool or whole

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1926873504

Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?

tetchy flashy gregarious superficial
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ