One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a green car overtook the taxi’
pass, get past, go past, go by, overhaul, get ahead of, pull ahead of, leave behind, outdistance, outstrip
gain on, catch up with, draw level with, go faster than
2‘tourism overtook coffee as the main earner of foreign currency’
outstrip, surpass, overshadow, eclipse, outshine, outclass
dwarf, put in the shade, put to shame, excel, exceed, transcend, top, cap, trump, beat, better
informal leave standing, walk away from
archaic outrival, outvie
3‘the calamity which overtook us’
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
literary betide, whelm
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