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[in-uh n-deyt, -uhn-, in-uhn-deyt]
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verb (used with object), in·un·dat·ed, in·un·dat·ing.
  1. to flood; cover or overspread with water; deluge.
  2. to overwhelm: inundated with letters of protest.

Origin of inundate

1615–25; < Latin inundātus, past participle of inundāre to flood, overflow, equivalent to in- in-2 + und(a) wave + -ātus -ate1
Related formsin·un·da·tion, nounin·un·da·tor, nounin·un·da·to·ry [in-uhn-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪnˈʌn dəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivesu·per·in·un·da·tion, nounun·in·un·dat·ed, adjective


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2. glut.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for inundation

Historical Examples

  • Prouided, that the ground neither be boggy, nor the inundation be past 24.

    A New Orchard And Garden

    William Lawson

  • Hathor was regarded in tradition as the cause of the inundation.

  • We have our wonders of inundation in Suffolk also, I can tell you.

  • Should the inundation increase, where could they find refuge?

  • “I think it was an inundation or a big fire,” she a little languidly smiled.

    The Patagonia

    Henry James

British Dictionary definitions for inundation


verb (tr)
  1. to cover completely with water; overflow; flood; swamp
  2. to overwhelm, as if with a floodto be inundated with requests
Derived Formsinundant or inundatory, adjectiveinundation, nouninundator, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin inundāre to flood, from unda wave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for inundation


early 15c., from Latin inundationem (nominative inundatio) "an overflowing," noun of action from past participle stem of inundare "to overflow," from in- "onto" (see in- (2)) + undare "to flow," from unda "wave" (see water).



1620s, back-formation from inundation, or else from Latin inundatus, past participle of inundare "to overflow, run over" (see inundation). Related: Inundated; inundating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper