verb (used with object)

  1. to make necessary repairs on; restore to serviceable condition: My car was overhauled by an expert mechanic.
  2. to investigate or examine thoroughly for repair or revision: Next year we’re going to overhaul the curriculum.
  3. to gain upon, catch up with, or overtake, as in a race.
  4. to haul or turn over for examination.
  5. Nautical.
    1. to slacken (a rope) by hauling in the opposite direction to that in which the rope was drawn taut.
    2. to release the blocks of (a tackle).


  1. Also o·ver·haul·ing. a general examination and repair: The state roads were badly in need of a major overhaul.

verb (ˌəʊvəˈhɔːl) (tr)

  1. to examine carefully for faults, necessary repairs, etc
  2. to make repairs or adjustments to (a car, machine, etc)
  3. to overtake

noun (ˈəʊvəˌhɔːl)

  1. a thorough examination and repair

v.1620s, from over- + haul (v.); originally nautical, “pull rigging apart for examination,” which was done by slackening the rope by hauling in the opposite direction to that in which it is pulled in hoisting. Replaced overhale in sense of “overtake” (1793). Related: Overhauled; overhauling. n.1826, from overhaul (v.).

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