One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The movement of part of a machine beyond a desired point; an allowance made for such movement.
1with object (refl.) and without object. To travel too much, or beyond one's power of endurance. rare.
2no object Of part of a machine: to travel further than necessary to complete a function; to travel too far, or beyond a desired point.
Mid 19th century (in an earlier sense). In sense 1 from over- + travel; compare overtravel<br>late 16th century (in an earlier sense). From over- + travel.
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