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  1. present participle of overwhelm


overwhelming (comparative more overwhelming, superlative most overwhelming)

  1. Overpowering, staggering, or irresistibly strong.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 1, in Animal Farm [], London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473:
      The vote was taken at once, and it was agreed by an overwhelming majority that rats were comrades.
    • 1960 December, Voyageur, “The Mountain Railways of the Bernese Oberland”, in Trains Illustrated, page 754:
      It is this stretch which provides what is perhaps the most staggering scenic prospect of all; the impression made on the mind by the overwhelming height of the Eiger, towering over the train, is almost impossible to describe.
  2. Very great or intense.
  3. Extreme.


Derived terms[edit]



overwhelming (plural overwhelmings)

  1. A situation of being overwhelmed.
    • 2013, David Ford, Theology: A Very Short Introduction (page 9)
      They have centuries of premodern experience in coping with being overwhelmed in multiple ways—not only by God, but also by other overwhelmings that have always been part of the human condition, such as disease, famine, war []