from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To cover with water; submerge.
- transitive v. To overwhelm.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To cover; to submerge; to engulf; to bury.
- v. To overcome with emotion.
- v. To throw (something) over a thing so as to cover it.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To cover with water or other fluid; to cover by immersion in something that envelops on all sides; to overwhelm; to ingulf.
- transitive v. Fig.: To cover completely, as if with water; to immerse; to overcome.
- transitive v. To throw (something) over a thing so as to cover it.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To throw over so as to cover.
- To engulf; submerge; cover by immersion in something that envelops on all sides; overwhelm.
- Hence, to crush, ruin, or destroy by some sudden overpowering disaster.
- To pass or roll over so as to cover or submerge.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli
Middle English whelmen, to overturn, probably alteration (influenced by helmen, to cover) of whelven, from Old English -hwelfan (as in āhwelfan, to cover over).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English whelmen ("to turn over, capsize; make an arch cover; experience a reversal"), akin to Middle English whelven ("to cover over, bury; invert; bring to ruin, to move by rolling"), akin to Old English ahwelfan, ahwylfan ("to cast down, cover over"), Old English helmian ("to cover"), akin to Old Saxon bihwelbian, Dutch welven ("to arch") German wölben, Old High German welben, Icelandic hvelfa ("to overturn; compare"), Ancient Greek κόλπος (kolpos, "bosom, hollow, gulf"). (Wiktionary)