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From over +‎ drive. Cognate with Norwegian overdrive (to exaggerate) and Dutch overdrijven (to exaggerate).


overdrive (usually uncountable, plural overdrives)

  1. (dated) A gear, on an automobile, higher than the normal top gear.
    • 1981 Oct, Popular Mechanics‎, volume 156, page 201:
      Cruising in overdrive at legal highway speed keeps rpm right at 1800, depending on rear-axle ratio.
  2. 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



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.




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

This Norwegian entry was created from the translations listed at exaggerate. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see overdrive in the Norwegian Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) February 2010