-·took′, -·tak′en, -·tak′ing
- to catch up with and, often, go beyond
- to come upon unexpectedly or suddenly: a sudden storm overtook us
- to render outmoded, irrelevant, invalid, etc.: often in the pp.: a once cutting-edge analysis now overtaken by recent events
transitive verbo·ver·took , o·ver·tak·en , o·ver·tak·ing, o·ver·takes
- a. To catch up with; draw even or level with.b. To pass after catching up with.
- To come upon unexpectedly; take by surprise: geopolitical strategists who were overtaken by events in southeast Asia.
(third-person singular simple present overtakes, present participle overtaking, simple past overtook, past participle overtaken)
- To pass a more slowly moving object.
- To catch up with, but not pass, a more slowly moving vehicle, animal etc.
- "I overtook and passed the doctor between Woking and Send." 1898, H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
- (economics) To become greater than something else
- To occur unexpectedly
- "Our plans were overtaken by events."
over- +"Ž take