Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English overgon, from Old English ofergān (to pass over, beyond, across, traverse, cross, transgress, overstep, overrun, overcome, overspread, conquer, come upon, overtake, seize, attack, pass off, pass away, end, overreach), equivalent to over- +‎ go. Cognate with Dutch overgaan, German übergehen, Swedish övergå.



overgo (third-person singular simple present overgoes, present participle overgoing, simple past overwent, past participle overgone)

  1. (now rare) To cross, go over (a barrier etc.); to surmount. [from 8th c.]
  2. (obsolete) To pass (a figurative barrier); to transgress. [8th-19th c.]
    • 1882, John Payne, trans., The Thousand Nights and One Night, vol 3:
      How many an one in its vanities hath gloried and taken pride, / Till froward and arrogant thus he grew and did all bounds o'ergo!
  3. (intransitive, now Britain dialectal) To pass by, pass away; often, to go unnoticed. [from 9th c.]
    • 1818, John Keats, Endymion, II:
      He did not rave, he did not stare aghast, / For all those visions were o'ergone, and past [...].
  4. To spread across (something); to overrun. [from 10th c.]
  5. To go over, move over the top of, travel across the surface of; to traverse, travel through. [from 13th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.iii:
      forward rode, and kept her readie way / Along the strond, which as she ouer-went, / She saw bestrowed all with rich aray / Of pearles and pretious stones of great assay [...].
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, The Praise of Knowledge:
      The fixed stars overgo Saturn, and so in them and all the rest, all is but one motion, and the nearer the earth the slower – a motion also whereof air and water do participate, though much interrupted.
  6. To go beyond; to exceed, surpass. [from 13th c.]
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, Richard III, II.2:
      O, what cause have I, / Thine being but a moiety of my grief, / To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries!
    • 1992, Domna C Stanton, Discourses of Sexuality, p. 177:
      He seeks to persuade the queen not merely to emulate the Amazons' vigilant territoriality but to overgo them by emulating the Spaniards' rampant invasiveness.
  7. To get the better of; to overcome, overpower. [from 13th c.]
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Dido, Queen of Carthage, Act I:
      Both barking Scylla, and the sounding rocks, / The Cyclops' shelves, and grim Ceraunia's seat, / Have you o'ergone, and yet remain alive.
  8. (obsolete) To overtake, go faster than. [15th-17th c.]
    • 1598, George Chapman, trans. Homer, Iliad, book VI:
      If it chance, that we be overgone / By his more swiftness, urge him still to run upon our fleet, / And (lest he 'scape us to the town) still let thy javelin meet / With all his offers of retreat.
  9. (obsolete) To cover.


Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Blend of overlapping +‎ oligonucleotide.



overgo (plural overgoes)

  1. (genetics) A sequence of overlapping oligonucleotides, used to design hybridization.
    • 1999, Birren & Green, Genome Analysis, p. 207:
      Mixtures of such specific "overgo" probes can be used to screen arrayed library filters by DNA-DNA hybridization [...].
    • 2004, Detrich, Westerfield & Zon, The Zebrafish: Genetics, Genomics and Informatics, p. 318:
      Hybridization of multiple overgoes produces many clones, perhaps 40 clones at a time.