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90s Slang You Should Know


[verb oh-ver-hawl, oh-ver-hawl; noun oh-ver-hawl] /verb ˌoʊ vərˈhɔl, ˈoʊ vərˌhɔl; noun ˈoʊ vərˌhɔl/
verb (used with object)
to make necessary repairs on; restore to serviceable condition:
My car was overhauled by an expert mechanic.
to investigate or examine thoroughly for repair or revision:
Next year we're going to overhaul the curriculum.
to gain upon, catch up with, or overtake, as in a race.
to haul or turn over for examination.
  1. to slacken (a rope) by hauling in the opposite direction to that in which the rope was drawn taut.
  2. to release the blocks of (a tackle).
Also, overhauling. a general examination and repair:
The state roads were badly in need of a major overhaul.
Origin of overhaul
First recorded in 1620-30; over- + haul
Related forms
overhauler, noun
unoverhauled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for overhaul
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Archie began to overhaul his traps, which had been piled in one corner of the cabin.

    Frank in the Woods Harry Castlemon
  • We may at least overhaul that boat before it has all its cargo ashore.

  • He cut the steam off just a little till the launch slowed down, and till the Ashantis on the bank began to overhaul her.

    With Wolseley to Kumasi F.S. Brereton
  • They had a day the start of us, it is true, but we should do our best to overhaul them.

    The Hunters' Feast Mayne Reid
  • On nearer approach both were pronounced Yankee, but the Alabama was not able to overhaul them until after sunset.

British Dictionary definitions for overhaul


verb (transitive) (ˌəʊvəˈhɔːl)
to examine carefully for faults, necessary repairs, etc
to make repairs or adjustments to (a car, machine, etc)
to overtake
noun (ˈəʊvəˌhɔːl)
a thorough examination and repair
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
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Word Origin and History for overhaul

1620s, from over- + haul (v.); originally nautical, "pull rigging apart for examination," which was done by slackening the rope by hauling in the opposite direction to that in which it is pulled in hoisting. Replaced overhale in sense of "overtake" (1793). Related: Overhauled; overhauling.


1826, from overhaul (v.).


1826, from overhaul (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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