Definition of overhaul in English:

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Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈhɔːl/
[with object]
1Take apart (a piece of machinery or equipment) in order to examine it and repair it if necessary: the steering box was recently overhauled
More example sentences
  • As a result we have been maintaining and overhauling these engines for 25 years.
  • Around 250 jobs in the division, which maintains, repairs and overhauls gas turbines, are being cut as part of a rationalisation plan.
  • Alex and his son have completely and utterly overhauled this machine over a period of two and a half years in what was painstaking work.
service, maintain, repair, mend, fix up, patch up, rebuild, renovate, revamp, recondition, remodel, refit, refurbish, modernize;
regulate, adjust;
check, check out, check over, check up on, give something a check-up, investigate, inspect, examine, survey;
revise, update, reconsider, rework, restructure, realign, shake up;
Northern English  fettle
informal do up
1.1Analyse and improve (a system): moves to overhaul the income tax system
More example sentences
  • Its arrival has not yielded a new Constitution, rationalised the party system, modernised justice or overhauled the bureaucracy in any of the ways its advocates hoped it would.
  • They are going to have to overhaul the welfare system.
  • He has more to do to overhaul the welfare system and public services in this country.
2British Overtake (someone), especially in a sporting event: Jodami overhauled his chief rival
More example sentences
  • Needing to finish four places ahead of Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham, the British pair were unable to overhaul their American rivals.
  • With our young players we would have a great base to build on and could overhaul our rivals.
  • He overhauled team-mate Andy Burt, but always had too much to do to catch Hilton.
overtake, pass, get past, go past, go by, go faster than, get/pull ahead of, outdistance, outstrip;
gain on, catch up with, draw level with;
British  undertake


Pronunciation: /ˈəʊvəhɔːl/
A thorough examination of machinery or a system, with repairs or changes made if necessary: a major overhaul of environmental policies
More example sentences
  • They can only be honestly confronted by a thorough overhaul of the system the minister will be asked to control.
  • If Indonesia wants to have an internationally competitive workforce, a major overhaul of its educational system is only the first step in a long process that lies ahead.
  • A new report charges that Ontario's food safety system needs a major overhaul.


Early 17th century (originally in nautical use in the sense 'release rope tackle by slackening'): from over- + haul.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: over|haul

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