Definition of overhaul in US English:



[with object]
Pronunciation /ˌoʊvərˈhɔl//ˌōvərˈhôl/
  • 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’
    • ‘Three Gascoyne sailors showed amazing ingenuity to overhaul and repair the tractor with very limited resources.’
    • ‘Arms and military equipment in service have at best been overhauled or modernized on a limited scale.’
    • ‘It will be another few weeks before we can turn the key on the Bonanza's completely overhauled engine.’
    • ‘Do I have to overhaul my engine at the recommended time interval even though it's operating satisfactorily?’
    • ‘He said he recognised the need for people to rest and for their ships and equipment to be overhauled.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Airplane engines are typically overhauled every 10,000 hours.’
    • ‘Today, using lean and six sigma methodologies, fewer mechanics are required and that same engine is overhauled in just 100 days.’
    • ‘Around 250 jobs in the division, which maintains, repairs and overhauls gas turbines, are being cut as part of a rationalisation plan.’
    • ‘After the engine was overhauled, Doolittle planned a speed record between three capital cities.’
    • ‘He overhauled his car's diesel engine and made a dual-fuel system running on both cooking fat and fossil fuels.’
    • ‘They took the recently overhauled 610-horsepower V8 Ford racing engine plus tools and accessories.’
    • ‘Ticket machines at tram stations have been overhauled because of the number of fake coins and notes used to pay for fares.’
    • ‘As a result we have been maintaining and overhauling these engines for 25 years.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Since it had remained static for a long time, he overhauled the engine.’
    • ‘At that location, the aircraft will be overhauled and presented by Rolls-Royce to a new owner.’
    • ‘Fortunately, I had a newly overhauled engine I had been buying on the installment plan.’
    service, maintain, repair, mend, fix up, patch up, rebuild, renovate, revamp, recondition, remodel, refit, refurbish, modernize
    View synonyms
  • 2British Overtake (someone), especially in a sporting event.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Tom Kennedy is now aiming to overhaul his father Keith's goalscoring record.’
    • ‘After all, last year they clawed back a huge deficit to overhaul Wenger's men.’
    • ‘He overhauled team-mate Andy Burt, but always had too much to do to catch Hilton.’
    • ‘However, he rose to the challenge and overhauled Samuel by mid-day to secure victory.’
    • ‘They remain the only county with a mathematical chance, albeit wafer-thin, of overhauling the leaders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Phelps aims to overhaul Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals.’
    • ‘The suggestion that any player could overhaul Jack Nicklaus in major championships was considered superfluous until Tiger Woods appeared in the mid-1990s.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They lost by three runs after failing to overhaul Knutsford's meagre target of 109.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some day, if all goes well, Woods will surely overhaul Jack Nicklaus's record but there is still a long way to go.’
    • ‘I'd certainly done enough to come second overall, but had I done enough to overhaul Steve?’
    • ‘She overhauled American Thompson to give Jodie Henry a slight edge going into the freestyle anchor leg.’
    overtake, pass, get past, go past, go by, go faster than, get ahead of, pull ahead of, outdistance, outstrip
    View synonyms


Pronunciation /ˈoʊvərˌhɔl//ˈōvərˌhôl/
  • A thorough examination of machinery or a system, with repairs or changes made if necessary.

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