American English

Definition of overwhelm verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    [often passive]Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they overwhelm
    he / she / it overwhelms
    past simple overwhelmed
    -ing form overwhelming
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  1. 1overwhelm somebody to have such a strong emotional effect on someone that it is difficult for them to resist or know how to react synonym overcome She was overwhelmed by feelings of guilt. The beauty of the landscape overwhelmed me.
  2. 2overwhelm somebody to defeat someone completely synonym overpower The army was overwhelmed by the rebels.
  3. 3overwhelm somebody to be so bad or so great that a person cannot deal with it; to give too much of a thing to a person We were overwhelmed by requests for information.
  4. 4overwhelm somebody/something (literary) (of water) to cover someone or something completely synonym flood The wave broke through the wall and overwhelmed the town.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: overwhelm