Overdriving means pushing something beyond it's capacity, or ignoring the limitations or warnings of a system.

Overdriving a sound signal through an amplifier distorts the original signal, causing clipping, compression or fuzz.

Many musicians, especially guitarists, intentionally overdrive their amplifiers to produce new timbral textures with their instruments. Overdrive was considered an unwanted byeffect of playing loud in the early days of the electric guitar. Jimi Hendrix and Ray Davies of the Kinks were some of the first to recognize the musical potential of overdrive, in the 1960's.