Definition of overhaul in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌōvərˈhôl/
[with object]
1Take apart (a piece of machinery or equipment) in order to examine it and repair it if necessary: a company that overhauls and repairs aircraft engines figurative moves to overhaul the income tax system
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.
2British Overtake (someone), especially in a sporting event.
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.


Pronunciation: /ˈōvərˌhôl/
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

Syllabification: o·ver·haul

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