in·​un·​date | \ˈi-(ˌ)nən-ˌdāt \
inundated; inundating

Definition of inundate 

transitive verb

1 : to cover with a flood : overflow

2 : overwhelm was inundated with phone calls

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Other Words from inundate

inundation \ˌi-​(ˌ)nən-​ˈdā-​shən \ noun
inundator \ˈi-​(ˌ)nən-​ˌdā-​tər \ noun
inundatory \i-​ˈnən-​də-​ˌtȯr-​ē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for inundate


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



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Did You Know?

In the summer of 1993, record rains in the Midwest caused the Mississippi River to overflow its banks, break through levees, and inundate the entire countryside; such an inundation hadn't been seen for at least a hundred years. By contrast, the Nile River inundated its entire valley every year, bringing the rich black silt that made the valley one of the most fertile places on earth. (The inundations ceased with the completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1970.) Whenever a critical issue is being debated, the White House and Congressional offices are inundated with phone calls and e-mails, just as a town may be inundated with complaints when it starts charging a fee for garbage pickup.

Examples of inundate in a Sentence

Rising rivers could inundate low-lying areas. water from the overflowing bathtub inundated the bathroom floor

Recent Examples on the Web

Observing the atoll with satellites, scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discovered East Island completely inundated with water, rendering it a nearly invisible patchwork of sand. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Remote Hawaiian Island Disappeared Completely Following a Hurricane," 24 Oct. 2018 The floodwaters inundated roads, homes and businesses and forced multiple water rescues. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Summer of floods: Sportscaster dies in deluge near Des Moines," 2 July 2018 We are surrounded by baby bumps and strollers on the subway and inundated with pregnancy announcements and pictures of 3-D sonograms on our social feeds. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "Marie Claire's Guide to Having a Baby," 1 Oct. 2018 Because attendees have been inundated with messaging, bystander intervention is common: many report helping victims themselves, whether intervening in an argument or helping someone who appears overly intoxicated. Bridget Read, Vogue, "At Burning Man, #MeToo Is More Complicated Than You Think," 28 Aug. 2018 Bay Area organizers hope their designs can be implemented not after a natural disaster but proactively, before the region is inundated with water, and as soon as money becomes available. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Resilient by Design offers ideas for SF Bay Area to deal with rising seas," 17 May 2018 Port Aransas, which was devastated when Harvey hit last August, is among the cities inundated. CBS News, "Heavy rains in Texas bring flooding to areas hit hard by Hurricane Harvey," 20 June 2018 The agency color-codes the severity of the outbreak using a legend of bright green for states with minimal flu activity, rising to deep red for those inundated by the virus. Fortune, "We May Finally Be Turning the Corner on the Flu Epidemic," 17 Feb. 2018 An immigration attorney said she's been inundated by recruits. Martha Mendoza And Garance Burke, USA TODAY, "US Army begins quietly discharging immigrant recruits on path to citizenship," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inundate.' 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 inundate

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for inundate

Latin inundatus, past participle of inundare, from in- + unda wave — more at water

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Statistics for inundate

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inundate

The first known use of inundate was in 1590

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More Definitions for inundate



English Language Learners Definition of inundate

: to cause (someone or something) to receive or take in a large amount of things at the same time

: to cover (something) with a flood of water


in·​un·​date | \ˈin-ən-ˌdāt \
inundated; inundating

Kids Definition of inundate

: to cover with or as if with a flood I'm inundated by mail.

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More from Merriam-Webster on inundate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inundate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inundate

Spanish Central: Translation of inundate

Nglish: Translation of inundate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inundate for Arabic Speakers

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a nest or breeding place

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