- to catch up with in traveling or pursuit; draw even with: By taking a cab to the next town, we managed to overtake and board the train.
- to catch up with and pass, as in a race; move by: He overtook the leader three laps from the finish.
- to move ahead of in achievement, production, score, etc.; surpass: to overtake all other countries in steel production.
- to happen to or befall someone suddenly or unexpectedly, as night, a storm, or death: The pounding rainstorm overtook them just outside the city.
- to pass another vehicle: Never overtake on a curve.
Origin of overtake
Examples from the Web for overtake
Their role, Sudani said, is not to overtake the Iraqi military but to help it.Baghdad’s Shia Militia Plans for War on ISIS
July 16, 2014
Uganda has intervened on the side of the Government of South Sudan, including providing air support to overtake opposition forces.Before There’s a Genocide: The Slaughter in South Sudan Must Stop
Justine Fleischner, John Prendergast
April 23, 2014
This year, as CNBC reports, technology could overtake apparel as the go-to gift.Walmart’s Black Thanksgiving Woes
Daniel Gross, Nico Hines
November 29, 2013
If the recount would have continued on Dec. 9, Gore would not have picked up enough overvotes to overtake Bush.What if the Supreme Court Had Declined to Hear Bush v. Gore?
April 29, 2013
When he finally goes to see a dentist, he learns that he has an abscess: the tooth is rotten, threatening to overtake his jaw.‘Mad Men’ Returns: A Recap of Season Five
April 5, 2013
The people with the cart could not overtake me, and I returned.
If he walked fast he might yet overtake his friends ere they reached their destination.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
No horse that the stragglers have stolen can overtake Gypsy.In the Midst of Alarms
I thought you'd get wool-gathering over some weed or another, and maybe I'd overtake you.Tiverton Tales
Judgment might overtake them there, as it might at home, in house or field.Meadow Grass
- mainly British to move past (another vehicle or person) travelling in the same direction
- (tr) to pass or do better than, after catching up with
- (tr) to come upon suddenly or unexpectedlynight overtook him
- (tr) to catch up with; draw level with
Word Origin and History for overtake
"to come up to, to catch in pursuit," early 13c., from over- + take (v.). According to OED, originally "the running down and catching of a fugitive or beast of chase"; it finds the sense of over- in this word "not so clear." Related: Overtaken; overtaking. Old English had oferniman "to take away, carry off, seize, ravish."