Definition of overtake in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌōvərˈtāk/

verb (past overtook; past participle overtaken)

[with object]
1Catch up with and pass while traveling in the same direction: the driver overtook a line of vehicles
More example sentences
  • It is thought a dark-coloured Vauxhall Corsa, travelling south, overtook a line of traffic headed by a container lorry.
  • The Focus had stopped when a vehicle, travelling in the opposite direction, overtook another vehicle, which had stopped so the driver could remove an obstruction from the road.
  • He told the inquiry he was aware there was a vehicle, a Transit van, behind him which overtook the bus, passing by closely.
pass, go past/by, get/pull ahead of, leave behind, outdistance, outstrip
1.1Become greater or more successful than: Germany rapidly overtook Britain in industrial output
More example sentences
  • Last year, asparagus overtook coffee as Peru's top export crop and accounted for roughly a quarter of the country's farm exports.
  • Coffee has overtaken tea as the most popular drink outside the home.
  • While chipping at the landing is still the principal means of comminution, bundling is growing rapidly and could easily overtake roadside chipping within a few years.
2(Especially of misfortune) come suddenly or unexpectedly upon: the pattern of economic ruin overtook them
More example sentences
  • A Shandean fate overtook his body, which was taken by grave-robbers, recognized at an anatomy lecture in Cambridge, and secretly returned to its grave.
  • This is the evil that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.
  • She is concerned that, unless things change fairly rapidly, a similar fate will overtake her own premises.
2.1(Of a feeling) affect (someone) suddenly and powerfully: weariness overtook him and he retired to bed
More example sentences
  • I was suddenly overtaken by feelings of panic and fear.
  • This year a general mood of depression has overtaken people whose lives depend on agriculture.
  • A sudden feeling of loss overtook Peter with surprising speed.
befall, happen to, come upon, hit, strike, overwhelm, overcome, be visited on
literary betide

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·ver·take

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