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whelm

[hwelm, welm] /ʰwɛlm, wɛlm/
verb (used with object)
1.
to submerge; engulf.
2.
to overcome utterly; overwhelm:
whelmed by misfortune.
verb (used without object)
3.
to roll or surge over something, as in becoming submerged.
Origin of whelm
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English whelme, apparently blend of dial. whelve (Old English gehwelfan to bend over) and helm2 (v.) (Old English helmian to cover)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for whelmed
Historical Examples
  • Her crests and peaks, her vales and plains, lie white and whelmed with snow.

    The Masque of the Elements Herman Scheffauer
  • The next instant he was whelmed in the avalanche of her words.

    His Unquiet Ghost Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)
  • In another moment Bax was whelmed in spray and knee-deep in rushing water.

    The Lifeboat R.M. Ballantyne
  • The other or eastern end of the isle was whelmed in the blackest shade.

  • The rider in that cariole is so whelmed in furs as to be absolutely invisible.

    The Big Otter R.M. Ballantyne
  • All the flowers, with which you are whelmed in profusion, will one day bear fruit.

  • It looked as though a match-factory had been whelmed by a landslip.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • The apprehension was whelmed in the possessing movement with which he drew me to his breast.

    A Woman of Genius Mary Austin
  • How can I, whelmed by a flux of talk, meditate upon the Way?'

    Kim Rudyard Kipling
  • All the thunder of heaven could not have whelmed me like those words.

    Helmet of Navarre Bertha Runkle
British Dictionary definitions for whelmed

whelm

/wɛlm/
verb (transitive) (archaic)
1.
to engulf entirely with or as if with water
2.
another word for overwhelm
Word Origin
C13: whelmen to turn over, of uncertain origin
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
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Word Origin and History for whelmed

whelm

v.

c.1300, probably from a parallel form of Old English -hwielfan (West Saxon), -hwelfan (Mercian), in ahwelfan "cover over;" probably altered by association with Old English helmian "to cover" (see helmet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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