• We wuz overwhelmed with the onspeakable aspect of the buildin's—See
    We wuz overwhelmed with the onspeakable aspect of the buildin's—See
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v overwhelm charge someone with too many tasks
    • v overwhelm overcome by superior force
    • v overwhelm cover completely or make imperceptible "I was drowned in work","The noise drowned out her speech"
    • v overwhelm overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Closely pursued by the Dog, who overwhelmed her with bites, blows and kicks Closely pursued by the Dog, who overwhelmed her with bites, blows and kicks

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Overwhelm The act of overwhelming.
    • Overwhelm To cause to surround, to cover.
    • Overwhelm To cover over completely, as by a great wave; to overflow and bury beneath; to ingulf; hence, figuratively, to immerse and bear down; to overpower; to crush; to bury; to oppress, etc., overpoweringly. "The sea overwhelmed their enemies.""Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.""Foul deeds will rise,
      Though all the earth o'erwhelm them."
      "Gaza yet stands; but all her sons are fallen,
      All in a moment overwhelmed and fallen."
    • Overwhelm To project or impend over threateningly. "His louering brows o'erwhelming his fair sight."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • overwhelm To overturn and cover; overcome; swallow up; submerge; overpower: crush: literally or figuratively.
    • overwhelm To turn up; stir up; toss.
    • overwhelm To overhang or overlook.
    • overwhelm To turn over so as to cover; put over.
    • overwhelm Synonyms Overpower, Overthrow, etc. (see defeat), overbear.
    • n overwhelm The act of overwhelming; an overpowering degree.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Overwhelm ō-vėr-hwelm′ to overspread and crush by something heavy or strong: to flow over and bear down: to overcome
    • ***


  • Bruce Barton
    “The essential element in personal magnetism is a consuming sincerity -- an overwhelming faith in the importance of the work one has to do.”
  • Alvin Toffler
    Alvin Toffler
    “Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock.”
  • Og Mandino
    “Sound character provides the power with which a person may ride the emergencies of life instead of being overwhelmed by them. Failure is... the highway to success.”
  • Katharine Whitehorn
    Katharine Whitehorn
    “Americans, indeed, often seem to be so overwhelmed by their children that they'll do anything for them except stay married to the co-producer.”
  • Idries Shah
    Idries Shah
    “Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm.”
  • Wernher Von Braun
    Wernher Von Braun
    “We can lick gravity but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.”


In literature:

Near enough to swear by; and the impulse to comfort her was overwhelming.
"Far to Seek" by Maud Diver
His sense of guilt was overwhelming.
"Bunker Bean" by Harry Leon Wilson
It certainly seemed welcome to a little band of desperate men who were going to fight against overwhelming odds.
"The Texan Scouts" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Have more faith in the triumph of right against overwhelming odds.
"Ishmael" by Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
She was overwhelmed, and did not scruple to overwhelm him, with anger and consternation.
"Joanna Godden" by Sheila Kaye-Smith
Perhaps the nation did not realize the danger; but the danger was present, and threatened to be overwhelming.
"Notable Events of the Nineteenth Century" by Various
Lumpkin was slow and considerate; Colquitt was rapid and overwhelming.
"The Memories of Fifty Years" by William H. Sparks
Fagerolles was getting ridiculous with his habit of aping the great artist overwhelmed with work!
"His Masterpiece" by Emile Zola
Shuffles was almost overwhelmed with astonishment to find that one who was a model of fidelity and propriety had actually joined the Chain.
"Outward Bound" by Oliver Optic
The blow was sudden, overwhelming and utterly destructive.
"The Lost Lady of Lone" by E.D.E.N. Southworth

In poetry:

And yet had it been yesterday
She said those words, I still could pray.
There would be still a God above--
For two, now overwhelmed, to love!
"Aleen" by Cale Young Rice
Re sudden words made Sap'at start,
And from his bosom burst a groan',
Overwhelmed by shame and pale as death,
He seemed to stiffen into stone.
"Gamzrdeli" by Akaki Tsereteli
Save us, O Lord! who call upon thy name,
But overwhelm our enemies with shame:
Our gracious Sov'reign and his Kingdoms bless,
And crown our arms with conquest and success!
"The Soldier's Prayer" by Rees Prichard
The sudden darkness of death
Overwhelmed them like the breath
And smoke of a furnace fire:
By the river's bank, and between
The rocks of the ravine,
They lay in their bloody attire.
"The Revenge Of Rain-In-The-Face. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The Fifth)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And can'st thou believe that my passion has perish'd,
Tho' the torrent that first overwhelm'd me is gone :
No ; — first in this heart thy dear image is cherish'd,
Tho' the stream of affection run silently on.
"Song" by Mary Anne Browne
Nor 'mid the homes of men,
The haunts of busy life, would I be laid:
There ever was I lone, and my vexed shade
Would sleep unquiet then:
The surging tide of life might overwhelm
The shadowy boundaries of the silent realm.
"A Thought" by Anne C Lynch

In news:

Experts believe the US would be overwhelmed should a Japan-like meltdown occur at a US nuclear power plant.
When a large home improvement project looms, like adding a deck or updating your kitchen or bathroom, it can be overwhelming.
First responders are busy but not overwhelmed by rain storms that have lashed California for five days.
The orange tidal wave that made it feel like 1983 in these parts overwhelmed them on Thursday night.
Angelina Jolie's sultry gaze and overwhelming red carpet presence would be enough to intimidate any man, and even Billy Bob Thornton admits he couldn't handle her toward the end of their marriage.
The wrath falling upon Rush Limbaugh is overwhelming.
First responders, emergency crews scramble after overwhelming Waco rains.
Writing tutors at Yale have recently seen an overwhelming influx of struggling essayists, the Yale Daily News reports.
In more influential quarters the reaction was overwhelmingly favorable.
An overwhelmingly 99.44 percent majority of men are great guys.
You want to be challenged by your job without being overwhelmed by it.
The president won an overwhelming percent of the vote, according to exit polls.
DETROIT (AP) — Factory workers at General Motors overwhelmingly have approved a new four-year contract with the company that includes profit-sharing instead of raises for most workers and promises thousands of new jobs.
McDonough football overwhelms Lackey .
The projection of SWAT power here in Tampa is overwhelming.

In science:

We prove that the largest jump of the Markov chains Yt and Zt , before reaching level h, is less than h1/2+ε , with overwhelming probability.
No more than three favourite sites for simple random walk
In the hard-particle limit the P ∆v term completely overwhelms the energy difference, and the slope of the phase boundary plotted in the (log P ,log β ) diagram approaches −1.
Phase Behavior of a Simple Model for Membrane Proteins
However, the “residual” two body multipole part of the Hamiltonian is dominated by forces that are overwhelmingly central (quadrupole, pairing, etc.) .
Spectroscopy with random and displaced random ensembles
So, with overwhelming probability the size of at least one of the subranges will be of order n1−ε . 1.2.
The shape theorem for the frog model with random initial configuration
The photon field from the cascading particles itself will overwhelm the thermal radiation field as the cascade process goes on, and the cascade process proceeds nonlinearly.
Photon Emission in a Cascade from Relativistic Protons Initiated by Residual Thermal Photons in Gamma-Ray Bursts