What does overwhelm mean?

Definitions for overwhelm
ˌoʊ vərˈʰwɛlm, -ˈwɛlmover·whelm

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word overwhelm.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. overwhelm, overpower, sweep over, whelm, overcome, overtakeverb

    overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli

  2. overwhelm, deluge, flood outverb

    charge someone with too many tasks

  3. submerge, drown, overwhelmverb

    cover completely or make imperceptible

    "I was drowned in work"; "The noise drowned out her speech"

  4. overpower, overmaster, overwhelmverb

    overcome by superior force


  1. overwhelmverb

    To engulf, surge-over and submerge

    The dinghy was overwhelmed by the great wave.

  2. overwhelmverb

    To overpower, crush

    In December 1939 the Soviet Union attacked Finland with overwhelming force.

  3. overwhelmverb

    To overpower emotionally

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Overwhelm

    ō-vėr-hwelm′, v.t. to overspread and crush by something heavy or strong: to flow over and bear down: to overcome.—p.adj. Overwhel′ming, crushing with weight, &c.: irresistible.—adv. Overwhel′mingly.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. overwhelm

    A comprehensive word derived from the Ang.-Saxon wylm, a wave. Thus the old song-- "Lash'd to the helm, should seas o'erwhelm."

Editors Contribution

  1. Overwhelm

    To engulf from above; to overcome by surpassing a threshold, defeat; confuse, disorient &c. This verb is more an ablative than a measure

    Some of the inhabitants of Pompeii were overwhelmed by hot fumes that came down from the Mount Vesuvius eruption. At their level, there was no more cool or clean air

    Submitted by thesignaturesnice on April 19, 2020  

Matched Categories

How to pronounce overwhelm?

How to say overwhelm in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of overwhelm in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of overwhelm in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of overwhelm in a Sentence

  1. Merry Seabold:

    Intelligence always impressed Linda, but they couldn’t have been more different. She was a tall, lanky blondish brown hair gal who had a lot of friends and had worked a long time for one company. Paul was short… not very good-looking and didn’t really have a penny to his name, although he dressed well and spoke so eloquently. He had the ability to overwhelm you with his intelligence. She was really taken by that and overlooked everything else.

  2. Philip Davidson:

    Any forces deployed to the islands would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea-claimants.

  3. Sarah Clark:

    We may see peaks of flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which could overwhelm the health care system, strain testing capacity and potentially reduce our ability to catch and treat both respiratory illnesses effectively.

  4. Sam Houston:

    Some of you laugh to scorn the idea of bloodshed as the result of secession, but let me tell you what is coming….Your fathers and husbands, your sons and brothers, will be herded at the point of the bayonet….You may after the sacrifice of countless millions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives, as a bare possibility, win Southern independence…but I doubt it. I tell you that, while I believe with you in the doctrine of state rights, the North is determined to preserve this Union. They are not a fiery, impulsive people as you are, for they live in colder climates. But when they begin to move in a given direction…they move with the steady momentum and perseverance of a mighty avalanche; and what I fear is, they will overwhelm the South.

  5. George Maris:

    Secular growth stories overwhelm the threat of increased trade frictions every time.

Images & Illustrations of overwhelm

  1. overwhelmoverwhelmoverwhelmoverwhelmoverwhelm

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Translations for overwhelm

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    malicious satisfaction
    • A. exacerbate
    • B. gloat
    • C. caddie
    • D. knead

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