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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English overgangen, from Old English ofergangan (to pass over, beyond, across, traverse, cross, transgress, overstep, overrun, overcome, overspread, conquer, come upon, overtake, seize, attack, pass off, pass away, end, overreach), from Proto-Germanic *uber (over) + *ganganą (to walk, step), equivalent to over- +‎ gang (to walk, step). Cognate with Scots owergang (to overwhelm, master, dominate).


overgang (third-person singular simple present overgangs, present participle overganging, simple past and past participle overganged)

  1. (transitive, dialectal or obsolete) To go beyond or above; to exceed.
    • c. 1600, unknown author, "Proud Lady Margaret":
      Ye're straight and tall, handsome withall, But your pride overgangs your wit
    • c. 1650, unknown author, Eger and Grime
      But at the last it will overgang, Suppose that many think it lang.
    • 1917, Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr, Christine, a Fife fisher girl, page 21:
      "The trouble is overganging the profit. Read us one o' King David's psalms or canticles, then we'll go to our sleep wi' a song in our hearts."
    • 1981, Christina Larner, Enemies of God: the witch-hunt in Scotland, page 97:
      Less dramatically, but packed with economic menace, Elizabeth Bathgate told George Sprot, 'for work what you can your teeth shall overgang your hands and ye shall never get your Sundays meat to the fore.'

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English *overgang, from Old English ofergang (a going across), equivalent to over- +‎ gang.


overgang (plural overgangs)

  1. (transitive, dialectal or obsolete) Something that goes across or over; a transition.
    • 1587, Lord Robert of Orkney, "A renunciation" quoted in Notes on Orkney and Zetland, Alexander Peterkin, page 127:
      [...] all such udall lands, quoy lands, and others, as was evictit frae them be his Lordship's courts of perambulation, and overgangs, holden upon the lands of the same and divers places thereof, mentioned most specially in his Lordship's court-books, he renounced the same accordingly.
    • 1883, George Stephens, Prof: S. Bugge's studies on Northern mythology shortly examined:
      Sometimes we can put our finger direct on the overgang.
    • 1892, Quarter Sessions Records of the Peace (Yorkshire North Riding), volume 9, page 249:
      [...] the preservation of adequate or established footpaths, the creation of new stiles or overgangs, in aid of the same object, in the fences required in the process of inclosure, and so forth.
    • 1990, Dolores Warwick Frese, "Wulf and Eadwacer: The Adulterous Woman Reconsidered" in New Readings on Women in Old English Literature, page 283:
      Its palmbranch logo - "the earliest Christian symbol of triumph over death - and the "still half-Scandian dialect in 12 lines of stave-rime verse" all "announce the overgang from heathendom."



From over +‎ gang. Related to overgaan.



overgang m (plural overgangen, diminutive overgangetje n)

  1. transition
  2. menopause

Derived terms[edit]