Basic+ Word of the Day: overwhelm

overwhelm (verb) past tense: overwhelmed LISTEN

"I don't want to overwhelm you, but could you do this first?"

Overwhelm means’ to overpower in mind or feeling.’

  • Fred was overwhelmed with tears as he spoke of his late mother.
  • When the audience cheered, the singer was overwhelmed with joy.

Overwhelm can also mean ‘to defeat with great power.’

  • The opposing team overwhelmed them with their strong offense.

Overwhelm also means ‘to burden excessively.’

  • Ellen was overwhelmed with English homework.

Related words

overwhelming: very powerful. Example: “Rod’s overwhelming feeling of guilt prevented him from sleeping.”

In pop culture

Listen to Robert Palmer sing “You Overwhelm Me.”

There are other meanings of overwhelm.
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