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”).
- (dated) A gear, on an automobile, higher than the normal top gear.
2017 October 18, 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.
- 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” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
- neuter of