from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To surge over and submerge; engulf: waves overwhelming the rocky shoreline.
- transitive v. To defeat completely and decisively: Our team overwhelmed the visitors by 40 points.
- transitive v. To affect deeply in mind or emotion: Despair overwhelmed me.
- transitive v. To present with an excessive amount: They overwhelmed us with expensive gifts.
- transitive v. To turn over; upset: The small craft was overwhelmed by the enormous waves.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To engulf, surge-over and submerge
- v. To overpower, crush
- v. To overpower emotionally
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. 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.
- transitive v. To project or impend over threateningly.
- transitive v. To cause to surround, to cover.
- n. The act of overwhelming.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To overturn and cover; overcome; swallow up; submerge; overpower: crush: literally or figuratively.
- To turn up; stir up; toss.
- To overhang or overlook.
- To turn over so as to cover; put over.
- Synonyms Overpower, Overthrow, etc. (see defeat), overbear.
- n. The act of overwhelming; an overpowering degree.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
- v. overcome by superior force
- v. cover completely or make imperceptible
- v. charge someone with too many tasks
From over- + whelm, or rather Middle English whelmen. (Wiktionary)