del·​uge | \ ˈdel-ˌyüj , -ˌyüzh; nonstandard də-ˈlüj, ˈdā-ˌlüj \

Definition of deluge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an overflowing of the land by water
b : a drenching rain a deluge causing mudslides in the area
2 : an overwhelming amount or number received a deluge of angry phone calls


deluged; deluging

Definition of deluge (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to overflow with water : inundate
2 : overwhelm, swamp The store was deluged with complaints.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for deluge

Synonyms: Noun

alluvion, bath, cataclysm, cataract, flood, flood tide, inundation, Niagara, overflow, spate, torrent

Synonyms: Verb

drown, engulf, flood, gulf, inundate, overflow, overwhelm, submerge, submerse, swamp

Antonyms: Noun

drought (also drouth)

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of deluge in a Sentence


The deluge caused severe mudslides. a deluge of thanks and appreciation for the returning troops


Heavy rains deluged the region. deluged with requests for help
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Critics say the deluge of those seeking rewards is now overwhelming the system. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "Bernie Madoff’s Legacy: Whistleblower Inc.," 8 Dec. 2018 Patricola tweaked the conditions to watch what would happen if Katrina, Irma, and Maria had unfolded in a pre-industrial world, and found that global warming boosted the deluge by between 4 and 9 percent. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How humans are transforming the hurricanes of the future," 14 Nov. 2018 The deluge of dark secrets from his past forced Hauer to finally cope with what had happened, and eventually led him to file his own lawsuit against Seattle’s Archdiocese. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Archdiocese pays nearly $7 million to settle men’s claims that six priests abused them as boys," 13 Nov. 2018 The deluge of out-of-state corporate money flooding into Washington this year has gotten so bad that state lawmakers are talking about new campaign-finance laws. David Roberts, Vox, "Big Oil is using brute financial force to kill 2 state sustainability initiatives," 4 Nov. 2018 The deluge of historical examination via alternate history novels has continued unabated into the 21st century, and grown so much that annual awards now recognize the best of the genre. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "What if Napoleon Hadn’t Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History," 14 June 2018 Over its left and right front corners there are professional-grade water monitors, also known as deluge guns, which can raise and lower and pivot and drain those tanks completely in fewer than five minutes. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Tank That's Tougher Than Wildfire," 13 Nov. 2018 Roads to Wilmington were cut off by the epic deluge and muddy river water swamping entire neighborhoods miles (kilometers) inland. Fox News, "AP PHOTOS: Flooding from Florence swamps neighborhoods," 16 Sep. 2018 Rather than an overwhelming deluge of styles and colors and padding options, these brands have honed their pitch to something that can be contained within a single Instagram post. Sam Reed, The Hollywood Reporter, "Did #MeToo Kill the Push-Up Bra?," 23 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That day, employees deluged the site with 193 reviews, more than the company had received in the entire month up to that point. Andrea Fuller, WSJ, "How Companies Secretly Boost Their Glassdoor Ratings," 22 Jan. 2019 Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles (485 kilometers) ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath from South Carolina to Ohio and Pennsylvania could get deluged. Jonathan Drew, The Seattle Times, "“Monster” Hurricane Florence nears Carolina coast," 11 Sep. 2018 Such rains in recent weeks have deluged the Great Lakes region, the Deep South and the suburbs of major cities along the Atlantic coast. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "Immense rains are causing more flash flooding, and experts say it’s getting worse," 24 June 2018 Stewart’s complaint about being deluged with letters from parents is in a Feb. 17, 1919, cable to headquarters. WSJ, "Archangel Endnotes," 9 Nov. 2018 Chopra and Jonas have been deluged with criticism that their wedding was a form of #sponcon, or sponsored content, a term for social media posts that are authored by or explicitly endorse brands. E.j. Dickson, Vox, "The controversy over Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’s wedding, explained," 5 Dec. 2018 The region has been deluged by historic amounts of rainfall — best measured in feet in many locations — and floodwaters along rivers inland are still rising. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Photos: what Hurricane Florence’s destruction looks like on the ground," 17 Sep. 2018 Several months after Hurricane Harvey, the massive storm that deluged Houston in 2017, researchers attributed 38 percent of the storm’s record rainfall to global warming. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Hurricane Florence caused up to $22 billion in damages. Climate change made the storm worse.," 3 Oct. 2018 Unseasonable rains deluged Peru’s northern coast in 2017. Barbara Fraser, Discover Magazine, "Understanding the Amazon By Digging Into the Ground Beneath It," 28 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deluge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deluge


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deluge

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French deluje, from Latin diluvium, from diluere to wash away, from dis- + lavere to wash — more at lye

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Statistics for deluge

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deluge

The first known use of deluge was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for deluge



English Language Learners Definition of deluge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large amount of rain that suddenly falls in an area
: a situation in which a large area of land becomes completely covered with water
: a large amount of things that come at the same time



English Language Learners Definition of deluge (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give or send (someone) a large amount of things at the same time
: to flood (a place) with water


del·​uge | \ ˈdel-yüj \

Kids Definition of deluge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a flooding of land by water : flood
2 : a drenching rain
3 : a sudden huge stream of something a deluge of mail


deluged; deluging

Kids Definition of deluge (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : to overwhelm as if with a flood We were deluged by questions.

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More from Merriam-Webster on deluge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deluge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deluge

Spanish Central: Translation of deluge

Nglish: Translation of deluge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deluge for Arabic Speakers

Comments on deluge

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very full or close together

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