overwhelm Definition

  • 1bury or drown beneath a huge mass
  • 2defeat completely
  • 3give too much of a thing to someone
  • 4have a strong emotional effect on

Using overwhelm: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "overwhelm" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The city was overwhelmed by the flood.

  • Example

    I was overwhelmed with joy when I heard the news.

  • Example

    The team was overwhelmed by their opponents in the final match.

  • Example

    She was overwhelmed by the amount of work she had to do.

overwhelm Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for overwhelm

  • underwhelm
  • underwhelmed
  • underwhelming

Idioms Using overwhelm

  • be overwhelmed by events

    to be unable to cope with a situation because it is too difficult or too many things are happening at once


    The new employee was overwhelmed by events on his first day at work.

  • to have too much work to do and feel unable to cope with it


    She was overwhelmed with work and didn't know how to manage her time.

  • to have a strong emotional reaction to something


    He was overwhelmed by emotion when he saw his newborn baby for the first time.

Phrases with overwhelm

  • to show someone an excessive amount of kindness


    The staff at the hotel overwhelmed us with kindness during our stay.

  • to give someone more information than they can process or handle


    The professor overwhelmed the students with information during the lecture.

  • overwhelm with options

    to present someone with too many options to choose from


    The menu overwhelmed us with options, making it hard to decide what to order.

Origins of overwhelm

from Old English 'oferwealmian', meaning 'to overturn'


Summary: overwhelm in Brief

The verb 'overwhelm' [ˌəʊvəˈwelm] means to bury or defeat completely, give too much of a thing to someone, or have a strong emotional effect on. It can be used in various contexts, such as being overwhelmed by work or emotions, or overwhelming someone with kindness or information. Synonyms include 'crush,' 'devastate,' and 'inundate.'