- simple past tense of overtake.
- 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 overtook
He had started on the return journey, and was only a mile from Yuin when we overtook him.Explorations in Australia
Then he galloped down the trail, and overtook her at the Point o' Rocks.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
A conviction that it was Charles Channing who was drowned, overtook them all.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
He sprang to his feet, bolted out, and overtook her at once.Salted With Fire
Mukhorty overtook them, and struck his hoofs against the back of the sledge in front of them.Master and Man
- 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 overtook
"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."