• (RP) IPA: /ˌəʊvəˈʍɛlm/, /ˌəʊvəˈwɛlm/
  • (America) IPA: /ˌoʊvɚˈʍɛlm/, /ˌoʊvɚˈwɛlm/
  • (Scotland) IPA: /ˌovɚˈʍɛlm/

overwhelm (overwhelms, present participle overwhelming; past and past participle overwhelmed)

  1. To engulf, surge over and submerge.
    The dinghy was overwhelmed by the great wave.
  2. To overpower, crush.
    In December 1939 the Soviet Union attacked Finland with overwhelming force.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Psalms 78:53 ↗:
      The sea overwhelmed their enemies.
  3. To overpower emotionally.
    He was overwhelmed with guilt.
    Joy overwhelmed her when she realized that she had won a million dollars.
  4. To cause to surround, to cover.
Related terms Antonyms Translations
  • French: abreuver (in passive voice)
  • Portuguese: engolir
  • Russian: поглоща́ть
Translations Translations
  • French: accabler
  • Portuguese: dominar
  • Russian: переполня́ть
  • Spanish: agobiar

overwhelm (plural overwhelms)

  1. The state or condition of being overwhelmed.

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