- that overwhelms; overpowering: The temptation to despair may become overwhelming.
- so great as to render resistance or opposition useless: an overwhelming majority.
Origin of overwhelming
- 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
Related Words for overwhelmingstaggering, devastating, astounding, amazing, stunning, mind-boggling, vast, crushing, exciting, overcoming, shattering, breathtaking, eye-opening
Examples from the Web for overwhelming
Contemporary Examples of overwhelming
Dean Teresa A. Sullivan praised the “overwhelming response by this community to condemn the evil acts” reported by Rolling Stone.Why It Was Right to Question Rolling Stone’s U-VA Rape Story
December 5, 2014
An overwhelming amount of subtleties and implications were going over my head.What Should I Call the Man I Love?
November 18, 2014
There was no assassin but despite the overwhelming presence of troops and FBI agents, violent incidents still occurred.Honoring The Late John Doar, A Nearly Forgotten Hero Of The Civil Rights Era
November 15, 2014
An overwhelming majority of yes votes—89 of them—came from Republican men.Abortion in Missouri Is the Wait of a Lifetime
November 12, 2014
Finally, the political realities of this issue are overwhelming.To Make Their Victory Durable, the GOP Must Fix the Minimum Wage
November 6, 2014
Historical Examples of overwhelming
Mr. Gladstone was returned again for Midlothian by an overwhelming majority.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Smitten to the heart by a sudden and overwhelming remorse, Hetty was speechless.Hetty's Strange History
And what overwhelming success attends the efforts of the Jesuits!The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
There were too many of the enemy, and overwhelming reinforcements could be expected any moment.
The Mercutians will be back soon in overwhelming force, burning for revenge.
- overpowering in effect, number, or force
- 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 overwhelming
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.