verb in·un·date \ ˈi-(ˌ)nən-ˌdāt \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of inundate

inundated; inundating
1 : to cover with a flood : overflow
2 : overwhelm
  • was inundated with phone calls


play \ˌi-(ˌ)nən-ˈdā-shən\ noun


play \ˈi-(ˌ)nən-ˌdā-tər\ noun


play \i-ˈnən-də-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective

Examples of inundate in a Sentence

  1. Rising rivers could inundate low-lying areas.

  2. water from the overflowing bathtub inundated the bathroom floor

Recent Examples of inundate from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of inundate

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

inundate Synonyms

INUNDATE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of inundate for English Language Learners

  • : 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

INUNDATE Defined for Kids


verb in·un·date \ ˈin-ən-ˌdāt \

Definition of inundate for Students

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

Word Root of inundate

The Latin word unda, meaning “wave,” gives us the root und. Words from the Latin unda have something to do with waves. To undulate is to move up and down like a wave. To inundate is to cover with a flood of waves. To surround, or encircle on all sides, is to enclose as if by waves. To abound is to be plentiful, like waves in the ocean.

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