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overdrive

[verb oh-ver-drahyv; noun oh-ver-drahyv]
verb (used with object), o·ver·drove, o·ver·driv·en, o·ver·driv·ing.
  1. to push or carry to excess; overwork.
  2. to drive too hard.
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. Informal. an intense state of activity or productivity: The political campaign has shifted into overdrive.
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Origin of overdrive

before 950; Middle English overdriven to cover over, overpower; Old English oferdrīfan to drive away, overthrow. See over-, drive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overdrive

Contemporary Examples of overdrive

Historical Examples of overdrive

  • A ship from Orede had come out of overdrive and lay dead in emptiness.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • Air-scarcity killed them before the ship came out of overdrive.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • So they want to use your ship—it's faster in overdrive and so on.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • It had gone into overdrive, heading for Dara at many times the speed of light.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster

  • The Med Ship broke out of overdrive at 1300 hours, ship time.

    Pariah Planet

    Murray Leinster


British Dictionary definitions for overdrive

overdrive

noun (ˈəʊvəˌdraɪv)
  1. a very high gear in a motor vehicle used at high speeds to reduce wear and save fuel
  2. in overdrive in a state of intense activity
  3. into overdrive into a state of intense activity
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verb (ˌəʊvəˈdraɪv) -drives, -driving, -drove or -driven
  1. (tr) to drive too hard or too far; overwork or overuse
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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

Word Origin and History for overdrive

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper