Definition of overhaul in English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /əʊvəˈhɔːl/
  • 1Take apart (a piece of machinery or equipment) in order to examine it and repair it if necessary.

    ‘the steering box was recently overhauled’
    • ‘They took the recently overhauled 610-horsepower V8 Ford racing engine plus tools and accessories.’
    • ‘Today, using lean and six sigma methodologies, fewer mechanics are required and that same engine is overhauled in just 100 days.’
    • ‘He overhauled his car's diesel engine and made a dual-fuel system running on both cooking fat and fossil fuels.’
    • ‘Do I have to overhaul my engine at the recommended time interval even though it's operating satisfactorily?’
    • ‘After the engine was overhauled, Doolittle planned a speed record between three capital cities.’
    • ‘Airplane engines are typically overhauled every 10,000 hours.’
    • ‘At that location, the aircraft will be overhauled and presented by Rolls-Royce to a new owner.’
    • ‘Ticket machines at tram stations have been overhauled because of the number of fake coins and notes used to pay for fares.’
    • ‘It will be another few weeks before we can turn the key on the Bonanza's completely overhauled engine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said he recognised the need for people to rest and for their ships and equipment to be overhauled.’
    • ‘Since it had remained static for a long time, he overhauled the engine.’
    • ‘Fortunately, I had a newly overhauled engine I had been buying on the installment 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.’
    • ‘Three Gascoyne sailors showed amazing ingenuity to overhaul and repair the tractor with very limited resources.’
    • ‘But Schurle, too, grew up on a Kansas farm, where at age 13 he had to overhaul the engine on his father's 1949 Frazer.’
    • ‘After the harvest the factory is to undergo a shutdown period during which the equipment will be overhauled and made ready for the new season.’
    • ‘Arms and military equipment in service have at best been overhauled or modernized on a limited scale.’
    • ‘You might have never heard of Taca airlines, El Salvador's official airline, but you may have flown on a plane that was overhauled by their mechanics.’
    service, maintain, repair, mend, fix up, patch up, rebuild, renovate, revamp, recondition, remodel, refit, refurbish, modernize
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    1. 1.1 Analyse and improve (a system)
      ‘moves to overhaul the income tax system’
      • ‘It says it won't increase taxes, but will spend €3m employing more than 30 testers to overhaul the driving-test system.’
      • ‘It set out to overhaul a central piece of desktop computing - the way users search and store information.’
      • ‘We radically overhaul our system of healthcare, and then do the thing that benefits our corporations.’
      • ‘Some experts were disappointed that Brown did not heed calls to overhaul the system.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, fresh plans to overhaul computer systems and transform customer access to York council services will be discussed next Tuesday by executive members.’
      • ‘During this time, Navy infrastructure was overhauled, two-ocean basing was commenced and service conditions were improved.’
      • ‘The whole thing's a geographical lottery at the moment, and it's high time the system was overhauled.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I guess I don't subscribe to this notion that we have to radically overhaul Medicare.’
      • ‘There is an urgent need to overhaul this system and offer Canadians their right to choose between private and public medicine a right that citizens in most democracies take for granted.’
      • ‘I have already begun to investigate the loss of the file to establish what went wrong and will take steps to ensure that our procedures are fully overhauled if necessary.’
      • ‘He admitted that plans to overhaul the system would not now be completed until spring 2005 at the earliest, a delay of six months.’
      • ‘Major league general managers have more than a month left to overhaul their rosters.’
      • ‘Japanese policymakers said they would speed up steps to overhaul the economy and fix the banking system.’
      • ‘In fact, I can single-handedly overhaul our educational system for free.’
      • ‘Whether this actually does square the corporates is debatable, and rather depends on whether the system results in them having to overhaul their systems every four years or every two.’
      • ‘As part of a big wave of free-market economic reforms, Argentina overhauled the creaking system in 1994.’
      • ‘He has more to do to overhaul the welfare system and public services in this country.’
      • ‘The CSCI is radically overhauling its social care regulation and inspection frameworks.’
      • ‘They are going to have to overhaul the welfare system.’
  • 2British Overtake (someone), especially in a sporting event.

    ‘Jodami overhauled his chief rival’
    • ‘They remain the only county with a mathematical chance, albeit wafer-thin, of overhauling the leaders.’
    • ‘Now that the drivers' title is safely wrapped up, there was a warning that the safety-first tactics of previous weeks will now be replaced by more aggressive driving in a bid to overhaul the current team leaders.’
    • ‘Phelps aims to overhaul Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Tom Kennedy is now aiming to overhaul his father Keith's goalscoring record.’
    • ‘She overhauled American Thompson to give Jodie Henry a slight edge going into the freestyle anchor leg.’
    • ‘Four years ago Radcliffe led throughout the Olympic 10,000 metres final in Sydney only to be overhauled with a lap to go, eventually finishing fourth.’
    • ‘I'd certainly done enough to come second overall, but had I done enough to overhaul Steve?’
    • ‘After all, last year they clawed back a huge deficit to overhaul Wenger's men.’
    • ‘The suggestion that any player could overhaul Jack Nicklaus in major championships was considered superfluous until Tiger Woods appeared in the mid-1990s.’
    • ‘He overhauled team-mate Andy Burt, but always had too much to do to catch Hilton.’
    • ‘Needing to finish four places ahead of Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham, the British pair were unable to overhaul their American rivals.’
    • ‘The pair were overhauled in the final 200m of a slow race won by Chris Mulvaney, with Andrew Baddeley second.’
    • ‘It was going to be an extremely tall order for any side to overhaul us.’
    • ‘With our young players we would have a great base to build on and could overhaul our rivals.’
    • ‘Henrik threatened for a moment, but soon tired, and Albert Hall never looked likely to overhaul the leader, who had two and a half lengths to spare at the line.’
    • ‘However, he rose to the challenge and overhauled Samuel by mid-day to secure victory.’
    • ‘Some day, if all goes well, Woods will surely overhaul Jack Nicklaus's record but there is still a long way to go.’
    • ‘They lost by three runs after failing to overhaul Knutsford's meagre target of 109.’
    overtake, pass, get past, go past, go by, go faster than, get ahead of, pull ahead of, outdistance, outstrip
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Pronunciation /ˈəʊvəhɔːl/
  • A thorough examination of machinery or a system, with repairs or changes made if necessary.

    ‘a major overhaul of environmental policies’
    • ‘A new report charges that Ontario's food safety system needs a major overhaul.’
    • ‘Now his comment comes as many Immigration and Customs officials are calling for a major overhaul of our border security system.’
    • ‘Sent this book by someone with less commercial muscle, his editors would unquestionably have demanded a thorough overhaul.’
    • ‘There is also bad news on the way for young drivers, with a major overhaul planned for the provisional licence system.’
    • ‘They have been told to consider plans for a major overhaul of the committee system, in a bid to make that more effective.’
    • ‘Now the courts are forcing a thorough overhaul of that old order.’
    • ‘In the EU, there were two major overhauls in agricultural policies in 1992 and in 1999.’
    • ‘The upgrade, which will include a major overhaul and rebuilding of the plant, is expected to take 18 months.’
    • ‘Is a major overhaul of the security system justified?’
    • ‘Sixty-one percent of women, versus 45 percent of men, say that the healthcare system in America today needs a major overhaul.’
    • ‘As part of a huge upgrading program in Old Cairo, these historic places of prayer are being given a thorough overhaul.’
    • ‘The family law system requires nothing less than a major overhaul if it is to meet the changing demands of society.’
    • ‘A way out of the current impasse lies less in a thorough overhaul of the Constitution than in a public awakening to the need to strengthen citizens' participation in politics.’
    • ‘The office's performance needed a thorough overhaul, he said, including the way it dealt with the problem of illegal immigration.’
    • ‘The North Kerry area is to be included in a new national pilot scheme which will see a major overhaul of the schools' building system.’
    • ‘It may, at long last, lead to a major overhaul of a system of which, as it stands currently, we should be thoroughly ashamed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 1994, the concerns over the system of DNA testing resulted in a major overhaul of the way profiling was carried out.’
    • ‘They can only be honestly confronted by a thorough overhaul of the system the minister will be asked to control.’
    • ‘Doctors at Tasmania's public hospitals have been campaigning for a major overhaul of the system.’


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