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From over- +‎ whelm, or rather Middle English whelmen.



overwhelm ‎(third-person singular simple present overwhelms, present participle overwhelming, simple past and past participle overwhelmed)

  1. To engulf, surge over and submerge.
    The dinghy was overwhelmed by the great wave.
  2. To overpower, crush.
    In December 1939 the Soviet Union attacked Finland with overwhelming force.
    • Bible, Psalms lxxviii. 53
      The sea overwhelmed their enemies.
  3. To overpower emotionally.
    He was overwhelmed with guilt.
    Joy overwhelmed her when she realized that she had won a million dollars.
  4. To cause to surround, to cover.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Papin to this entry?)

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