View synonyms for overtake


[ oh-ver-teyk ]

verb (used with object)

, o·ver·took [oh-ver-, took], o·ver·tak·en, o·ver·tak·ing.
  1. 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.

  2. to catch up with and pass, as in a race; move by:

    He overtook the leader three laps from the finish.

  3. to move ahead of in achievement, production, score, etc.; surpass:

    to overtake all other countries in steel production.

  4. to happen to or befall someone suddenly or unexpectedly, as night, a storm, or death:

    The pounding rainstorm overtook them just outside the city.

verb (used without object)

, o·ver·took [oh-ver-, took], o·ver·tak·en, o·ver·tak·ing.
  1. to pass another vehicle:

    Never overtake on a curve.


/ ˌəʊvəˈteɪk /


  1. to move past (another vehicle or person) travelling in the same direction
  2. tr to pass or do better than, after catching up with
  3. tr to come upon suddenly or unexpectedly

    night overtook him

  4. tr to catch up with; draw level with

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Other Words From

  • uno·ver·taken adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of overtake1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English overtaken; over-, take

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Example Sentences

Print revenues are a bleaker picture, contributing to The Wall Street Journal reporting that digital ad revenues have overtaken print for the first time.

From Digiday

You also forecast that, by 2035, China will overtake the United States as the largest economy.

Both executives have helped steer the company through its digital transformation and, in the second quarter, its digital revenue overtook its print revenue for the first time.

From Digiday

That level of error correction should noticeably extend the time before errors overtake the qubit.

In short, experimental science needs to overtake the observational science that has dominated the field.

Their role, Sudani said, is not to overtake the Iraqi military but to help it.

Uganda has intervened on the side of the Government of South Sudan, including providing air support to overtake opposition forces.

This year, as CNBC reports, technology could overtake apparel as the go-to gift.

If the recount would have continued on Dec. 9, Gore would not have picked up enough overvotes to overtake Bush.

When he finally goes to see a dentist, he learns that he has an abscess: the tooth is rotten, threatening to overtake his jaw.

On the broken porch of the abandoned house Amy stopped and waited for her chum to overtake her.

In tax-paying circles it is said that the fashionable thing will be to start now and let the airship overtake you if it can.

The laws of the Church of God remain immutable, amid the changes that overtake the various communities of men.

Walk while ye have the light that darkness overtake you not: and he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

Moreover, he continued his swift course, always approaching and tending to overtake the slower bodies that preceded him, viz.