follow Dictionary.com

13 Essential Literary Terms

overtake

[oh-ver-teyk] /ˌoʊ vərˈteɪk/
verb (used with object), overtook, overtaken, overtaking.
1.
to catch up with in traveling or pursuit; draw even with:
By taking a cab to the next town, we managed to overtake and board the train.
2.
to catch up with and pass, as in a race; move by:
He overtook the leader three laps from the finish.
3.
to move ahead of in achievement, production, score, etc.; surpass:
to overtake all other countries in steel production.
4.
to happen to or befall someone suddenly or unexpectedly, as night, a storm, or death:
The pounding rainstorm overtook them just outside the city.
verb (used without object), overtook, overtaken, overtaking.
5.
to pass another vehicle:
Never overtake on a curve.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English overtaken; see over-, take
Related forms
unovertaken, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for overtaken
  • This is the story of change for people overtaken by the goodness of elderly miss docker.
  • overtaken, conan whirls to face the beast and lures it to its death.
British Dictionary definitions for overtaken

overtake

/ˌəʊvəˈteɪk/
verb -takes, -taking, -took, -taken
1.
(mainly Brit) to move past (another vehicle or person) travelling in the same direction
2.
(transitive) to pass or do better than, after catching up with
3.
(transitive) to come upon suddenly or unexpectedly: night overtook him
4.
(transitive) to catch up with; draw level with
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for overtaken

overtake

v.

"to come up to, to catch in pursuit," early 13c., from over- + take (v.). According to OED, originally "the running down and catching of a fugitive or beast of chase"; it finds the sense of over- in this word "not so clear." Related: Overtaken; overtaking. Old English had oferniman "to take away, carry off, seize, ravish."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for overtake

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for overtaken

16
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with overtaken

Nearby words for overtaken