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’
    • ‘The two drivers overtook a number of vehicles along the road and witness statements expressed concerns about the speed of the two sports cars.’
    • ‘Then the driver of the car overtook the first car and tried to cross.’
    • ‘Wait until it is safe to overtake, and then pass wide and slow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My driver then tries to overtake the truck at the same time.’
    • ‘Now, if a daring driver decides to overtake the bus in front, he runs into trouble in uniform.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Vauxhall, travelling towards Bath, was overtaking a line of stationary vehicles looking to turn right.’
    • ‘Express bus drivers who don't overtake other buses, hence stopping unnecessarily at every stop.’
    • ‘He told the inquiry he was aware there was a vehicle, a Transit van, behind him which overtook the bus, passing by closely.’
    • ‘It is thought a dark-coloured Vauxhall Corsa, travelling south, overtook a line of traffic headed by a container lorry.’
    • ‘The light overtook them, passed through the car and vanished - and Gill and his friend kept right on driving!’
    • ‘Police are investigating the apparent road rage incident which is believed to have occurred after the bus overtook a line of stationary vehicles.’
    • ‘Isn't it just so annoying when one lorry travelling at 60 mph tries to overtake another which is travelling at 58 mph?’
    • ‘It is a dark stretch of road and the driver who was overtaken may not have been aware of the accident behind.’
    • ‘She noted the car overtaking her car was travelling at considerable speed and had commented to her husband: ‘God, he's flying.’’
    • ‘That's the key to what we have to do, is we have to maintain the ability to pass and overtake.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A driver attempted to overtake them but couldn't complete the move, and pulled towards their SUV.’
    pass, get past, go past, go by, overhaul, get ahead of, pull ahead of, leave behind, outdistance, outstrip
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    1. 1.1 Become greater or more successful than.
      ‘Germany rapidly overtook Britain in industrial output’
      • ‘Building construction is rapidly overtaking all other developmental activities.’
      • ‘Tourism is doing pretty well in Mauritius, too, and is set to overtake sugar as the country's most important industry.’
      • ‘But although he continued recording, his deep soul style was rapidly overtaken by funk and disco and, later, rap.’
      • ‘Later that year he presented the Report on Manufactures, an ambitious plan to overtake Britain in industrial output.’
      • ‘The team has managed to overtake last year's successes to receive commendation for every entry they submitted this year.’
      • ‘In recent years, low prices have devastated coffee farming in Rwanda, and tea exports have now overtaken coffee.’
      • ‘Tourism and family remittances have overtaken traditional exports as the country's prime earners.’
      • ‘Coffee has overtaken tea as the most popular drink outside the home.’
      • ‘Today, the fishing industry has overtaken the peanut sector as Senegal's No.1 foreign exchange earner.’
      • ‘After all the EU is rapidly overtaking the States as the pre-eminent economic superpower.’
      • ‘According to US tourism statistics, Britons have now overtaken the Japanese in terms of the numbers flying to New York.’
      • ‘They are developing successful, job-creating, renewable energy industries and they have overtaken Australia.’
      • ‘And seafood recently overtook other agriculture as an export success story, bolstered by boasts of clean water and fresh air.’
      • ‘The bad news is that the consumer PC market is rapidly approaching maturity, with renewals overtaking first-time purchases.’
      • ‘He said the boom in China's economy had helped shipping overtake tourism.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nobody in retailing underestimates the power of the card: its success undoubtedly helped Tesco to overtake Sainsbury as Britain's leading grocer.’
      • ‘Last year, asparagus overtook coffee as Peru's top export crop and accounted for roughly a quarter of the country's farm exports.’
      • ‘The seven largest US biotechnology firms have overtaken the pharmaceutical industry's 9.1% rise.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But events soon overtook the project, and the filmmakers end up recording history in the making.’
    • ‘They planned to consider the matter again as soon as the report was finalised but were overtaken by events.’
    • ‘With pure madness and natural disasters overtaking the entire planet, how could I believe that the Cayman Islands would remain unscathed?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is the evil that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all.’
    • ‘Even greater disasters overtook the once mighty empires of Spain and Portugal.’
    • ‘She is concerned that, unless things change fairly rapidly, a similar fate will overtake her own premises.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In this, time was an indispensable ally: dictators might die, crops fail, disaster overtake an expedition; it all helps, given time.’
    • ‘The unprecedented economic boom has overtaken the entire infrastructure implemented by the city planners.’
    • ‘Even such a disaster as had overtaken them at Kup caused no despondency among the Sikhs.’
    • ‘But archaeologists found themselves on the wrong side of history, overtaken by events that they tried hard to forestall.’
    • ‘If there was an option of delinking from America it was never seriously exercised or was overtaken by events.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, as happens so often to columnists who monitor current affairs at the global level, events overtake the best of intentions.’
    • ‘Our April 13 statement has now been overtaken by events.’
    • ‘The costs were massive and new procedures were often overtaken by events even before they were implemented.’
    • ‘Anything I say about that now is likely going to be overtaken by events within the next 48 hours.’
    • ‘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?’
    1. 2.1 (of a feeling) affect (someone) suddenly and powerfully.
      ‘weariness overtook him and he retired to bed’
      • ‘A strange feeling overtook me and I shook my head, trying to clear these betraying thoughts.’
      • ‘If I didn't, I feared panic would overtake me so badly that I really had no other choice but to try and go.’
      • ‘No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.’
      • ‘A sudden feeling of loss overtook Peter with surprising speed.’
      • ‘Confusion and doubt overtook him, and in his despair he ran up astronomical charges on 1-900 help lines.’
      • ‘Curiosity overtaking her, she started to move towards the mysterious person and at the two rapid paces, arrived at one another unusually quickly.’
      • ‘This year a general mood of depression has overtaken people whose lives depend on agriculture.’
      • ‘You don't let frustration overtake you when you're looking for change.’
      • ‘Instead, we see his unvarnished, unpretty tears when anguish overtakes him.’
      • ‘When one of these moods overtook her, she became unmanageable.’
      • ‘Angst has overtaken him, he says of his year on tour.’
      • ‘When curiosity overtakes me, I scoop the parcel into a glass and prudently cover it with a dinner plate.’
      • ‘I felt my eyes widened, grief overtaking me while anger was slowly creeping up into my feelings.’
      • ‘Whichever feeling overtakes you, it's likely to be associated with change.’
      • ‘A heady rush of feelings and pleasures overtook her.’
      • ‘Before he could make sense of the hieroglyphs, a heavy feeling overtook him as his meal worked through his limbs.’
      • ‘A feeling of peacefulness overtook her and, for once, she forgot the recent tragedies.’
      • ‘Then his sadness and sorrow overtook him and he fell to his knees again by Rivta's side, crying.’
      • ‘But even before he manages to draw out his weapon, panic overtakes him and he flees to a small tailor shop next door.’
      • ‘I was suddenly overtaken by feelings of panic and fear.’
      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
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Pronunciation

overtake

/əʊvəˈteɪk/