- 1[transitive, intransitive] overtake (somebody/something) (especially British English) to go past a moving vehicle or person ahead of you because you are going faster than they are He pulled out to overtake a truck. It's dangerous to overtake on a bend. See related entries: Driving
- 2[transitive] overtake somebody/something to become greater in number, amount or importance than something else synonym outstrip Nuclear energy may overtake oil as the main fuel. We mustn't let ourselves be overtaken by our competitors. Quinine has been overtaken by newer drugs.
- 3[transitive, often passive] overtake somebody/something if something unpleasant overtakes a person, it unexpectedly starts to happen and to affect them The climbers were overtaken by bad weather. Sudden panic overtook her. Our original plan was overtaken by events (= the situation changed very rapidly) and we had to make a new one. Extra examples It’s dangerous to overtake on a bend. Later this century, nuclear energy could overtake oil as the main fuel. We mustn’t let ourselves be overtaken by our competitors.
BrE BrE//ˌəʊvəˈteɪk//; NAmE NAmE//ˌoʊvərˈteɪk//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they overtake
BrE BrE//ˌəʊvəˈteɪk//; NAmE NAmE//ˌoʊvərˈteɪk//he / she / it overtakes
BrE BrE//ˌəʊvəˈteɪks//; NAmE NAmE//ˌoʊvərˈteɪks//past simple overtook
BrE BrE//ˌəʊvəˈtʊk//; NAmE NAmE//ˌoʊvərˈtʊk//past participle overtaken
BrE BrE//ˌəʊvəˈteɪkən//; NAmE NAmE//ˌoʊvərˈteɪkən//-ing form overtaking
BrE BrE//ˌəʊvəˈteɪkɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˌoʊvərˈteɪkɪŋ//Driving