Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[verb oh-ver-drahyv; noun oh-ver-drahyv] /verb ˌoʊ vərˈdraɪv; noun ˈoʊ vərˌdraɪv/
verb (used with object), overdrove, overdriven, overdriving.
to push or carry to excess; overwork.
to drive too hard.
Machinery, Automotive. a device containing a gear set at such ratio and arrangement as to provide a drive shaft speed greater than the engine crankshaft speed.
Informal. an intense state of activity or productivity:
The political campaign has shifted into overdrive.
Origin of overdrive
before 950; Middle English overdriven to cover over, overpower; Old English oferdrīfan to drive away, overthrow. See over-, drive Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for overdrive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It had to be not less than forty thousand miles out before it could take to overdrive.

    The Pirates of Ersatz Murray Leinster
  • Patrolman Willis set a time-switch and pushed the overdrive button.

    A Matter of Importance William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • He made him estimate the change in brightness to be expected after so many hours in overdrive, if one broke out to measure.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • The fleet of Mekin continued in overdrive, heading for Kandar.

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • He tried the briefest of overdrive hops, and came out within the solar system and well inside any watching patrol.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for overdrive


noun (ˈəʊvəˌdraɪv)
a very high gear in a motor vehicle used at high speeds to reduce wear and save fuel
in overdrive, in a state of intense activity
into overdrive, into a state of intense activity
verb (ˌəʊvəˈdraɪv) -drives, -driving, -drove, -driven
(transitive) to drive too hard or too far; overwork or overuse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for overdrive

"speed-increasing gear in an automobile," 1929, from over- + drive (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for overdrive

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for overdrive

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for overdrive