from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To catch up with; draw even or level with.
- transitive v. To pass after catching up with.
- transitive v. To come upon unexpectedly; take by surprise: geopolitical strategists who were overtaken by events in southeast Asia.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To pass a more slowly moving object.
- v. To catch up with, but not pass, a more slowly moving vehicle, animal etc.
- v. To become greater than something else
- v. To occur unexpectedly
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To come up with in a race, pursuit, progress, or motion
- transitive v. To surpass in production, achievement, etc..
- transitive v. To come upon from behind; to discover; to surprise; to capture; to overcome.
- transitive v. Hence, figuratively, in the past participle (overtaken), drunken.
- transitive v. To frustrate or render impossible or irrelevant; -- used mostly of plans, and commonly in the phrase overtaken by events.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To come up with in traveling the same way, or in pursuit (with or without the idea of passing the person or thing overtaken); catch up with in any course of thought or action.
- To take by surprise; come upon unexpectedly; surprise and overcome; carry away.
- Hence To overpower the senses of.
- Specifically, to overcome with drink; intoxicate: chiefly in the past participle.
- n. The act or fact of overtaking.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. catch up with and possibly overtake
- v. travel past
- v. overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
over- + take (Wiktionary)