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  1. #1
    catbert's Avatar
    catbert is offline Junior Member
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    is the word "overdrive" ever used as a verb?

    Not really an idiom question, but I am not seeing a more topical forum in any case.

    I've never heard this word used as anything other than a noun, and was surprised to see on dictionary.com that the first meaning, apparently, is a verb meaning "to overwork". I have never heard "overdrive" used that way, though, have you? And in fact, I noticed that if I type out the words "overdrove" and "overdriven", my browser underlines them in red.

  2. #2
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Re: is the word "overdrive" ever used as a verb?

    I have seen overdrive used as an adjective, but only in the context of a system of gears used to increase the speed of a mechanism, as in The car has an overdrive transmission. It wouldn't be too hard to imagine a similar usage for overdrive as a verb.

    I have never heard (NA English) overdrive used in the context you mention.

  3. #3
    trptdavid is offline Newbie
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    Re: is the word "overdrive" ever used as a verb?

    overdrive |ˈōvərˌdrīv|
    nouna gear in a motor vehicle providing a gear ratio higher than that of the drive gear or top gear, so that engine speed and fuel consumption are reduced in highway travel. a state of high or excessive activity: the city's worried public relations arm went into overdrive . a mechanism that permits a higher than normal operating level in a piece of equipment, such as the amplifier of an electric guitar.verb [ with obj. ] (usu. as adj. overdrive) drive or work to exhaustion: the overdriven mothers of ten or eleven hungry children.

  4. #4
    catbert's Avatar
    catbert is offline Junior Member
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    Re: is the word "overdrive" ever used as a verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by trptdavid View Post
    overdrive |ˈōvərˌdrīv|
    nouna gear in a motor vehicle providing a gear ratio higher than that of the drive gear or top gear, so that engine speed and fuel consumption are reduced in highway travel.• a state of high or excessive activity: the city's worried public relations arm went into overdrive .• a mechanism that permits a higher than normal operating level in a piece of equipment, such as the amplifier of an electric guitar.verb [ with obj. ] (usu. as adj. overdrive) drive or work to exhaustion: the overdriven mothers of ten or eleven hungry children.
    Okay?
    I mean, sorry, but how is this supposed to help?

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: is the word "overdrive" ever used as a verb?

    It is used, though it is not common. One example is music, where people talk about amps being overdriven to get certain sounds. However, it is rare enough to have escaped the attention of most spellchecks. The BNC has an example of herds or flocks being overdriven.

    I have never used it.

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