Meaning of “overwhelming” in the English Dictionary

"overwhelming" in British English

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uk /ˌəʊ.vəˈwel.mɪŋ/ us /ˌoʊ.vɚ-/

C1 difficult to fight against:

She felt an overwhelming urge/desire/need to tell someone about what had happened.

C1 very great or very large:

She said how much she appreciated the overwhelming generosity of the public in responding to the appeal.
An overwhelming majority has voted in favour of the proposal.

More examples

  • There has been overwhelming public support for the proposed shopping development.
  • The temptation to have another glass of wine proved overwhelming.
  • The evidence against the suspect is overwhelming.
  • The home team had the support of the overwhelming majority of the spectators.
  • The devastation showed the overwhelming power of the earthquake.

(Definition of “overwhelming” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"overwhelming" in American English

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us /ˌoʊ·vərˈhwel·mɪŋ, -ˈwel·mɪŋ/

very great or strong:

An overwhelming majority voted in favor of the proposal.
I felt an overwhelming sense of relief when the semester was over.
adverb [ not gradable ] us /ˌoʊ·vərˈhwel·mɪŋ·li, -ˈwel-/

In April, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill.

(Definition of “overwhelming” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)