Definition of overtake in English:

overtake

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1British Catch up with and pass while travelling in the same direction.

    ‘the driver overtook a line of vehicles’
    no object ‘he overtook in the face of oncoming traffic’
    • ‘Express bus drivers who don't overtake other buses, hence stopping unnecessarily at every stop.’
    • ‘Sights like these become familiar after a few days in Pakistan, although it takes a little longer to get used to drivers overtaking the buses and everything else on blind bends with horns blaring.’
    • ‘Take along some mint because the fast descent down the mountain might disturb even city folk, especially when the driver pulls out to overtake other cars on the narrow road.’
    • ‘The Vauxhall, travelling towards Bath, was overtaking a line of stationary vehicles looking to turn right.’
    • ‘A driver attempted to overtake them but couldn't complete the move, and pulled towards their SUV.’
    • ‘It is a dark stretch of road and the driver who was overtaken may not have been aware of the accident behind.’
    • ‘After overtaking some cars the driver had tried to get back on the correct side of the road, but lost control and hit a Rover travelling out of Bradford, the inquest heard.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The light overtook them, passed through the car and vanished - and Gill and his friend kept right on driving!’
    • ‘The two drivers overtook a number of vehicles along the road and witness statements expressed concerns about the speed of the two sports cars.’
    • ‘Police are investigating the apparent road rage incident which is believed to have occurred after the bus overtook a line of stationary vehicles.’
    • ‘It is thought a dark-coloured Vauxhall Corsa, travelling south, overtook a line of traffic headed by a container lorry.’
    • ‘My driver then tries to overtake the truck at the same time.’
    • ‘That's the key to what we have to do, is we have to maintain the ability to pass and overtake.’
    • ‘Now, if a daring driver decides to overtake the bus in front, he runs into trouble in uniform.’
    • ‘She noted the car overtaking her car was travelling at considerable speed and had commented to her husband: ‘God, he's flying.’’
    • ‘Wait until it is safe to overtake, and then pass wide and slow.’
    • ‘Isn't it just so annoying when one lorry travelling at 60 mph tries to overtake another which is travelling at 58 mph?’
    • ‘Then the driver of the car overtook the first car and tried to cross.’
    pass, get past, go past, go by, overhaul, get ahead of, pull ahead of, leave behind, outdistance, outstrip
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Become greater or more successful than.
      ‘Germany rapidly overtook Britain in industrial output’
      • ‘The seven largest US biotechnology firms have overtaken the pharmaceutical industry's 9.1% rise.’
      • ‘They are developing successful, job-creating, renewable energy industries and they have overtaken Australia.’
      • ‘Nobody in retailing underestimates the power of the card: its success undoubtedly helped Tesco to overtake Sainsbury as Britain's leading grocer.’
      • ‘After all the EU is rapidly overtaking the States as the pre-eminent economic superpower.’
      • ‘Last year, asparagus overtook coffee as Peru's top export crop and accounted for roughly a quarter of the country's farm exports.’
      • ‘In recent years, low prices have devastated coffee farming in Rwanda, and tea exports have now overtaken coffee.’
      • ‘But just as the petrol engine overtook the trams and the telephone surpassed the telegraph, it now seems the mobile is set to conquer the landline.’
      • ‘The bad news is that the consumer PC market is rapidly approaching maturity, with renewals overtaking first-time purchases.’
      • ‘Later that year he presented the Report on Manufactures, an ambitious plan to overtake Britain in industrial output.’
      • ‘Today, the fishing industry has overtaken the peanut sector as Senegal's No.1 foreign exchange earner.’
      • ‘Tourism and family remittances have overtaken traditional exports as the country's prime earners.’
      • ‘And seafood recently overtook other agriculture as an export success story, bolstered by boasts of clean water and fresh air.’
      • ‘Tourism is doing pretty well in Mauritius, too, and is set to overtake sugar as the country's most important industry.’
      • ‘According to US tourism statistics, Britons have now overtaken the Japanese in terms of the numbers flying to New York.’
      • ‘Building construction is rapidly overtaking all other developmental activities.’
      • ‘He said the boom in China's economy had helped shipping overtake tourism.’
      • ‘The team has managed to overtake last year's successes to receive commendation for every entry they submitted this year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But although he continued recording, his deep soul style was rapidly overtaken by funk and disco and, later, rap.’
      outstrip, surpass, overshadow, eclipse, outshine, outclass
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  • 2(especially of misfortune) come suddenly or unexpectedly upon.

    ‘disaster overtook the town in AD 296’
    • ‘But in many ways the report has been overtaken by events.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, as happens so often to columnists who monitor current affairs at the global level, events overtake the best of intentions.’
    • ‘Whatever disaster overtook life on Earth at the end of the Permian killed off just about all of the temnospondyls in a fairly short space of time.’
    • ‘The costs were massive and new procedures were often overtaken by events even before they were implemented.’
    • ‘The unprecedented economic boom has overtaken the entire infrastructure implemented by the city planners.’
    • ‘Or was it a forecast of the deluge of disaster that has since overtaken the area and the country in the form of cold, heartless crime?’
    • ‘Our April 13 statement has now been overtaken by events.’
    • ‘They planned to consider the matter again as soon as the report was finalised but were overtaken by events.’
    • ‘If there was an option of delinking from America it was never seriously exercised or was overtaken by events.’
    • ‘At one point we saw the wreck of a train which was lying on its side with steam still escaping from the boiler, evidence that disaster had overtaken it not very long before.’
    • ‘In this, time was an indispensable ally: dictators might die, crops fail, disaster overtake an expedition; it all helps, given time.’
    • ‘But archaeologists found themselves on the wrong side of history, overtaken by events that they tried hard to forestall.’
    • ‘She is concerned that, unless things change fairly rapidly, a similar fate will overtake her own premises.’
    • ‘But events soon overtook the project, and the filmmakers end up recording history in the making.’
    • ‘Anything I say about that now is likely going to be overtaken by events within the next 48 hours.’
    • ‘This is the evil that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.’
    • ‘With pure madness and natural disasters overtaking the entire planet, how could I believe that the Cayman Islands would remain unscathed?’
    • ‘Even such a disaster as had overtaken them at Kup caused no despondency among the Sikhs.’
    • ‘Even greater disasters overtook the once mighty empires of Spain and Portugal.’
    1. 2.1 (of a feeling) affect (someone) suddenly and powerfully.
      ‘weariness overtook him and he retired to bed’
      • ‘When curiosity overtakes me, I scoop the parcel into a glass and prudently cover it with a dinner plate.’
      • ‘A feeling of peacefulness overtook her and, for once, she forgot the recent tragedies.’
      • ‘But even before he manages to draw out his weapon, panic overtakes him and he flees to a small tailor shop next door.’
      • ‘No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.’
      • ‘A strange feeling overtook me and I shook my head, trying to clear these betraying thoughts.’
      • ‘A sudden feeling of loss overtook Peter with surprising speed.’
      • ‘A heady rush of feelings and pleasures overtook her.’
      • ‘This year a general mood of depression has overtaken people whose lives depend on agriculture.’
      • ‘Then his sadness and sorrow overtook him and he fell to his knees again by Rivta's side, crying.’
      • ‘Curiosity overtaking her, she started to move towards the mysterious person and at the two rapid paces, arrived at one another unusually quickly.’
      • ‘You don't let frustration overtake you when you're looking for change.’
      • ‘I felt my eyes widened, grief overtaking me while anger was slowly creeping up into my feelings.’
      • ‘If I didn't, I feared panic would overtake me so badly that I really had no other choice but to try and go.’
      • ‘When one of these moods overtook her, she became unmanageable.’
      • ‘Confusion and doubt overtook him, and in his despair he ran up astronomical charges on 1-900 help lines.’
      • ‘Instead, we see his unvarnished, unpretty tears when anguish overtakes him.’
      • ‘Whichever feeling overtakes you, it's likely to be associated with change.’
      • ‘Before he could make sense of the hieroglyphs, a heavy feeling overtook him as his meal worked through his limbs.’
      • ‘I was suddenly overtaken by feelings of panic and fear.’
      • ‘Angst has overtaken him, he says of his year on tour.’
      befall, happen to, come upon, hit, strike, fall on, overwhelm, overpower, overcome, be visited on, engulf, sweep over, take by surprise, surprise, catch unawares, catch unprepared, catch off guard
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

overtake

/əʊvəˈteɪk/