[verb oh-ver-ruhn; noun oh-ver-ruhn]

verb (used with object), o·ver·ran, o·ver·run, o·ver·run·ning.

verb (used without object), o·ver·ran, o·ver·run, o·ver·run·ning.

to run over; overflow: a stream that always overruns at springtime.
to exceed the proper, desired, or normal quantity, limit, order, etc.: Do you want to overrun on this next issue?


Origin of overrun

before 900; Middle English overrennen, Old English oferyrnan. See over-, run
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for overrun


verb (ˌəʊvəˈrʌn) -runs, -running, -ran or -run

(tr) to attack or invade and defeat conclusively
(tr) to swarm or spread over rapidly
to run over (something); overflow
to extend or run beyond a limit
(intr) (of an engine) to run with a closed throttle at a speed dictated by that of the vehicle it drives, as on a decline
  1. to print (a book, journal, etc) in a greater quantity than ordered
  2. to print additional copies of (a publication)
(tr) printing to transfer (set type and other matter) from one column, line, or page, to another
(tr) archaic to run faster than

noun (ˈəʊvəˌrʌn)

the act or an instance of overrunning
the amount or extent of overrunning
the number of copies of a publication in excess of the quantity ordered
the cleared level area at the end of an airport runway
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 overrun

Old English oferyrnan; see over- + run (v.). The noun meaning "excess expenditure over budget" is from 1956. Related: Overran; overrunning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper