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English definition of “overwhelm”

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overwhelm

verb uk   /ˌəʊ.vəˈwelm/ us    /ˌoʊ.vɚ-/

overwhelm verb (FORCE)

[T] to defeat someone or something by using a lot of force: Government troops have overwhelmed the rebels and seized control of the capital.

overwhelm verb (EMOTION)

C1 [T usually passive] to cause someone to feel sudden strong emotion: They were overwhelmed with/by grief when their baby died. I was quite overwhelmed by all the flowers and letters of support I received.

overwhelm verb (WATER)

[T] literary If water overwhelms a place, it covers it suddenly and completely.
(Definition of overwhelm from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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