over·​take | \ ˌō-vər-ˈtāk How to pronounce overtake (audio) \
overtook\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈtu̇k How to pronounce overtook (audio) \; overtaken\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈtā-​kən How to pronounce overtaken (audio) \; overtaking

Definition of overtake

transitive verb

1a : to catch up with
b : to catch up with and pass by
2 : to come upon suddenly

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Examples of overtake in a Sentence

She overtook the other runners and went on to win the race. The sign says “No Overtaking.” Seasickness can overtake passengers when the ship encounters a storm.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Lawrence, who overtook senior Kelly Bryant for Clemson’s starting job in the fifth game this season, is a 6-foot-6 drop-back passer calm beyond his years. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Clemson Routs Alabama to Win College Football’s National Championship," 8 Jan. 2019 But, don’t let the hype deceive you: Fortnite hasn’t actually overtaken every corner of the internet. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite is not the biggest game on YouTube this year," 18 Sep. 2018 The monthly Case-Shiller home price index, released Tuesday, showed Las Vegas had overtaken Seattle as the nation’s hottest housing market. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle dethroned as nation’s hottest housing market after nearly two years," 28 Aug. 2018 The United States, on the other hand, has been China's top trading partner since the 1990s, overtaking Hong Kong as the largest importer of Chinese goods in 1998. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "A timeline of how the U.S.-China trade war led us to this ‘code red’ situation," 5 July 2018 The other upset was in the 800, in which Crown Point sophomore Maddie Russin overtook favorites Elizabeth Stanhope of Pike and Abby Lynch of Brownsburg to win in 2:12.35. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "HSE takes first girls track state title; Brebeuf sprinter goes from hospital room to victory," 1 June 2018 Whether or not Duke has overtaken the Wildcats as the nation’s preeminent recruiting force, the Blue Devils did use this cycle to restock their roster with a crop of the very best high school players in the country. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "Winners and Losers of College Basketball's 2018 Recruiting Cycle," 2 May 2018 After Massport opened Logan to ride-hail companies, Uber and Lyft overtook taxi cabs in a matter of months as the most popular way to get a ride from the airport. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "Logan Airport to study transit link to terminals and MBTA station," 25 Apr. 2018 Napoli captain Marek Hamsik, who recently overtook Diego Maradona as the club's all-time top goalscorer, was pictured with the red mark alongside wife Martina Franova. Matias Grez, CNN, "Soccer stars use red lipstick to raise awareness about domestic violence," 23 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overtake.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of overtake

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for overtake

Middle English, from over entry 1 + taken to take

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Statistics for overtake

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for overtake

The first known use of overtake was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for overtake



English Language Learners Definition of overtake

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


over·​take | \ ˌō-vər-ˈtāk How to pronounce overtake (audio) \
overtook\ -​ˈtu̇k \; overtaken\ -​ˈtā-​kən \; overtaking

Kids Definition of overtake

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on overtake

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overtake

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overtake

Spanish Central: Translation of overtake

Nglish: Translation of overtake for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overtake for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overtake

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something valued as if it were money

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