Overwhelm O`ver*whelm", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Overwhelmed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Overwhelming}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To cover over completely, as by a great wave; to overflow and bury beneath; to ingulf; hence, figuratively, to immerse and bear down; to overpower; to crush; to bury; to oppress, etc., overpoweringly. [1913 Webster]

The sea overwhelmed their enemies. --Ps. lxxviii. 53. [1913 Webster]

Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. --Ps. lv. 5. [1913 Webster]

Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Gaza yet stands; but all her sons are fallen, All in a moment overwhelmed and fallen. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. To project or impend over threateningly. [1913 Webster]

His louering brows o'erwhelming his fair sight. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. To cause to surround, to cover. --Papin. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • overwhelm — [v1] flood, beat physically bury, conquer, crush, defeat, deluge, destroy, drown, drub*, engulf, inundate, massacre, overcome, overflow, overpower, overrun, overthrow, rout, smother, submerge, swamp, thrash, total*, whip*, win*; concepts 86,95… …   New thesaurus

  • Overwhelm — O ver*whelm , n. The act of overwhelming. [R.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • overwhelm — I verb astonish, beat, besiege, bewilder, bury, confound, confuse, conquer, daze, defeat, deluge, demergere, destroy, discomfit, immerse, impress, inundate, master, obruere, opprimere, overcome, overpower, overrun, overthrow, quash, quell, shock …   Law dictionary

  • overwhelm — (v.) early 14c., to turn upside down, to overthrow, from OVER (Cf. over) + M.E. whelmen to turn upside down (see WHELM (Cf. whelm)). Meaning to submerge completely is mid 15c. Perhaps the connecting notion is a boat, etc., washed over, and… …   Etymology dictionary

  • overwhelm — ► VERB 1) submerge beneath a huge mass. 2) defeat completely; overpower. 3) have a strong emotional effect on. DERIVATIVES overwhelming adjective. ORIGIN from archaic whelm engulf or submerge , from Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • overwhelm — [ō΄vər hwelm′, ō΄vərwelm′] vt. [ME oferwhelmen: see OVER & WHELM] 1. to pour down upon and cover over or bury beneath 2. to make helpless, as with greater force or deep emotion; overcome; crush; overpower 3. Obs. to overthrow or overturn… …   English World dictionary

  • overwhelm — verb ADVERB ▪ absolutely, completely, totally ▪ quite, rather ▪ almost, nearly ▪ suddenly …   Collocations dictionary

  • overwhelm — [[t]o͟ʊvə(r)(h)we̱lm[/t]] overwhelms, overwhelming, overwhelmed 1) VERB If you are overwhelmed by a feeling or event, it affects you very strongly, and you do not know how to deal with it. [be V ed] He was overwhelmed by a longing for times past …   English dictionary

  • overwhelm */ — UK [ˌəʊvə(r)ˈwelm] / US [ˌoʊvərˈwelm] / US [ˌoʊvərˈhwelm] verb [transitive] Word forms overwhelm : present tense I/you/we/they overwhelm he/she/it overwhelms present participle overwhelming past tense overwhelmed past participle overwhelmed 1) a) …   English dictionary

  • overwhelm — /oh veuhr hwelm , welm /, v.t. 1. to overcome completely in mind or feeling: overwhelmed by remorse. 2. to overpower or overcome, esp. with superior forces; destroy; crush: Roman troops were overwhelmed by barbarians. 3. to cover or bury beneath… …   Universalium

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