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[v. oh-ver-hawl, oh-ver-hawl; n. oh-ver-hawl] /v. ˌoʊ vərˈhɔl, ˈoʊ vərˌhɔl; n. ˈoʊ vərˌhɔl/
verb (used with object)
to make necessary repairs on; restore to serviceable condition:
My car was overhauled by an expert mechanic.
to investigate or examine thoroughly for repair or revision:
Next year we're going to overhaul the curriculum.
to gain upon, catch up with, or overtake, as in a race.
to haul or turn over for examination.
  1. to slacken (a rope) by hauling in the opposite direction to that in which the rope was drawn taut.
  2. to release the blocks of (a tackle).
Also, overhauling. a general examination and repair:
The state roads were badly in need of a major overhaul.
Origin of overhaul
1620-30; over- + haul
Related forms
overhauler, noun
unoverhauled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overhaul
  • Senate last night gave final approval to a budget blueprint that sets the stage for an overhaul of student lending.
  • Planning experts say these laws are due for a major overhaul.
  • Nothing less than an overhaul of the systems that implement federal policies will suffice.
  • Universities recruit professors worldwide in ambitious overhaul.
  • Your goal is to overhaul each city district by completing a wide range of projects.
  • It is increasingly being considered for the much needed overhaul of the central grids.
  • She is also leading a major and necessary overhaul of the nation's fishing policy.
  • Past efforts by presidents to overhaul big-time college athletics have rarely resulted in significant changes.
  • The law orders up two reports on regulatory overhaul.
  • To help consumers understand their cars' fuel costs and environmental impacts, fuel efficiency labels have gotten an overhaul.
British Dictionary definitions for overhaul


verb (transitive) (ˌəʊvəˈhɔːl)
to examine carefully for faults, necessary repairs, etc
to make repairs or adjustments to (a car, machine, etc)
to overtake
noun (ˈəʊvəˌhɔːl)
a thorough examination and repair
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for overhaul

1620s, from over- + haul (v.); originally nautical, "pull rigging apart for examination," which was done by slackening the rope by hauling in the opposite direction to that in which it is pulled in hoisting. Replaced overhale in sense of "overtake" (1793). Related: Overhauled; overhauling.


1826, from overhaul (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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