overtake

verb
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

But Blanchett's Bernadette's is, ultimately, the more disturbed and tragic character, one whose entire life has been overtaken by excuses and, overwhelmingly, a refusal to look her problem straight in the eye and deal with it. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Where'd You Go, Bernadette': Film Review," 15 Aug. 2019 Over one such 22-tweet thread, Charlotte Burns tells the harrowing tale of the transatlantic United Airlines flight that was overtaken by ants. Michelle Santiago Cortés, refinery29.com, "A Nightmare Infestation On A Plane Journey Told In Tweets," 17 June 2019 The fortress was likely overtaken by Tikal’s new rulers, and could have served as a military stronghold for the occupying forces. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, "The Lost World of the Maya is Finally Emerging From the Jungle," 7 Feb. 2019 Several adults went in the water to help the two children, and two of those adults were overtaken by the current and swept away, authorities said. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Two men swept away by current in the Chicopee River ID’d," 3 July 2018 Democrats have called for greater regulation, comparing Facebook and Google to the railroad trusts of the 19th century and asking tough questions about the ease with which platforms were overtaken by hostile actors during the 2016 election. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "How Conservatives Are Hoodwinking Big Tech," 29 June 2018 These are broad strategic concepts, and in reality such ideas are often overtaken by near-term constraints and realities. Rodger Baker, Fortune, "Commentary: Trump and Kim Are Both Unconventional. That Might Help Them Strike a Deal.," 2 May 2018 But that house was flooded, overtaken by a river that changed course. Wired, "CNN's Town Hall Made Climate Change Personal—and It Worked," 5 Sep. 2019 Even if, say, the Rays endure a skid and get overtaken by Boston in the four-game late-season matchup between the teams, that won’t be enough to ensure the Red Sox a playoff berth. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "With a month left in the season, just what are the Red Sox’ chances?," 29 Aug. 2019

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

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overtake

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

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More Definitions for overtake

overtake

verb

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

overtake

verb
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

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