Definitions

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

Etymologies

over- +‎ take (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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