• (verb) IPA(key): /ˌəʊvə(ɹ)ˈdɹaɪv/
    • (file)
  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈəʊvə(ɹ)ˌdɹaɪv/
    • (file)

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English overdriven, from Old English oferdrīfan, equivalent to over- +‎ drive. Cognate with Saterland Frisian uurdrieuwe (to overdo, overstate), Dutch overdrijven (to exaggerate), German Low German overdrieven, överdrieven (to overdo, exaggerate), German übertreiben (to overdo, exaggerate), Norwegian overdrive (to exaggerate).


overdrive (third-person singular simple present overdrives, present participle overdriving, simple past overdrove, past participle overdriven)

  1. (transitive) To drive too hard, or far, or beyond strength.

Etymology 2Edit

From over- +‎ drive From the gear over "D" (drive) in an automatic transmission vehicle.


overdrive (countable and uncountable, plural overdrives)

  1. (dated, automotive) A gear, on an automobile, higher than the normal top gear.
    • 2022 October 2, Popular Mechanics, volume 156, number 4, page 201:
      Cruising in overdrive at legal highway speed keeps rpm right at 1800, depending on rear-axle ratio.
  2. (uncountable, figuratively) A state of heightened activity.
    • 2000, Salman Rushdie, The ground beneath her feet, page 78:
      It is true, though it's got nothing to do with me, that the building boom that created the Bombay of my childhood went into overdrive in the years before my birth
    • 2022 July 26, Mike Isaac, “‘Operating With Increased Intensity’: Zuckerberg Leads Meta Into Next Phase”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      So, Mr. Zuckerberg has kicked his company into overdrive with a strong message: It’s time to do more with less.


Coordinate termsEdit
  • 4th gear (in an automatic transmission vehicle)
  • 5th gear (in a manual transmission vehicle)
Derived termsEdit

See alsoEdit

Norwegian BokmålEdit


over- +‎ drive; after German übertreiben


overdrive (imperative overdriv, present tense overdriver, simple past overdrev or overdreiv, past participle overdrevet, present participle overdrivende)

  1. to exaggerate (overstate, to describe more than is fact)

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


Norwegian NynorskEdit



  1. neuter of overdriven


overdrive (present tense overdriv, past tense overdreiv, supine overdrive, past participle overdriven, present participle overdrivande, imperative overdriv)

  1. Alternative form of overdriva