[ oh-ver-hwelm, -welm ]
/ ˌoʊ vərˈʰwɛlm, -ˈwɛlm /

verb (used with object)

to overcome completely in mind or feeling: overwhelmed by remorse.
to overpower or overcome, especially with superior forces; destroy; crush: Roman troops were overwhelmed by barbarians.
to cover or bury beneath a mass of something, as floodwaters, debris, or an avalanche; submerge: Lava from erupting Vesuvius overwhelmed the city of Pompeii.
to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything: a child overwhelmed with presents; to overwhelm someone with questions.
to overthrow.

Nearby words

  1. overweary,
  2. overween,
  3. overweening,
  4. overweigh,
  5. overweight,
  6. overwhelmed,
  7. overwhelming,
  8. overwind,
  9. overwinter,
  10. overwintering

Origin of overwhelm

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at over-, whelm

Related formsun·o·ver·whelmed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overwhelmed

British Dictionary definitions for overwhelmed


/ (ˌəʊvəˈwɛlm) /

verb (tr)

to overpower the thoughts, emotions, or senses of
to overcome with irresistible force
to overcome, as with a profusion or concentration of something
to cover over or bury completely
to weigh or rest upon overpoweringly
archaic to overturn
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 overwhelmed
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper