- 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.
Origin of overwhelm
Examples from the Web for overwhelmed
We are overwhelmed with data from every quarter, and our capacity to filter fact from fraud is limited.The Facts About Ferguson Matter, Dammit
December 3, 2014
The low crunch of packed dirt against rubber tire was overwhelmed by the ragged explosions of automatic gunfire.A Belgian Prince, Gorillas, Guerrillas & the Future of the Congo
November 6, 2014
When Singh finally showed up at the front door of his home in Amritsar, his family was overwhelmed with relief.As 30-Year Anniversary of Mass Killings in India Arrives, Sikhs Find Safety in USA
Simran Jeet Singh
October 31, 2014
When you land in Fort Mac, a town of 100,000, you immediately are overwhelmed by the slickness of the brand new airport.Our Trip to The Climate War's Ground Zero
September 19, 2014
Physicians are overwhelmed because we are in the middle of a collision of powerful unrestrained forces.Why Your Doctor Feels Like a 'Beaten Dog'
September 11, 2014
The man who had so loved her, so trusted her, was overwhelmed by the revelation.Within the Law
The children of that pair have been overwhelmed, and found no such refuge.Sketches from Memory (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
In fact, her mind had never been overwhelmed by a wasteful torrent of learning.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
Gallant men of our own army will be overwhelmed unless we get up in time!The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
"Unfortunate me," continued Cornelius, overwhelmed with grief.The Black Tulip
Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
- 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
Word Origin and History for overwhelmed
mid-15c., past participle adjective from overwhelm.
early 14c., "to turn upside down, to overthrow," from over- + Middle English whelmen "to turn upside down" (see whelm). Meaning "to submerge completely" is mid-15c. Perhaps the connecting notion is a boat, etc., washed over, and overset, by a big wave. Figurative sense of "to bring to ruin" is attested from 1520s. Related: Overwhelmed; overwhelming; overwhelmingly.