verb over·take \ˌō-vər-ˈtāk\

: 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


Full Definition of OVERTAKE

transitive verb
a :  to catch up with
b :  to catch up with and pass by
:  to come upon suddenly

Examples of OVERTAKE

  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

Related to OVERTAKE

OVERTOOK Defined for Kids


verb over·take \ˌō-vər-ˈtāk\
over·took \-ˈtk\over·tak·en \-ˈtā-kən\over·tak·ing

Definition of OVERTAKE for Kids

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


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