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

The agency has been inundated with applications since Corinthian folded in 2015 amid state and federal investigations and lawsuits over alleged fraud, deceptive marketing, and steering students into predatory loans. Danielle Douglas-gabriel,, "Judge rejects DeVos interpretation of order to halt partial student debt relief plan," 20 June 2018 One theory for the glacial pace of BitLicense approvals is that the regulators have simply been inundated with new applications, creating a backlog. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "The Ledger: Is New York's BitLicense an 'Absolute Failure?'," 25 May 2018 The app seemingly hasn’t been updated in some time, and on the Windows Store, it’s inundated with bad reviews dating back years about how poorly the app works. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Apple shutting down Texture’s Windows magazine app after acquisition," 4 May 2018 Like all of them, the new host of arty, unconventional women could struggle to break through, particularly in a time when listeners are inundated with options. Neil Shah, WSJ, "Pop Music Makes Way for the Post-Diva Star," 7 July 2018 But rescuing them is proving difficult, as the way out of the cave complex is still inundated and most of the team does not know how to swim. The Economist, "Politics this week," 5 July 2018 Port Aransas, which was devastated by Harvey, was among the cities inundated with rainfall. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Texas sees worst flooding since Hurricane Harvey, days of torrential rain," 21 June 2018 What has changed, though, is the frequency with which girls are inundated with these images. Laura Clydesdale,, "Making sure my daughter doesn't see herself through the haze of an Instagram filter," 22 May 2018 Curious reporters and angry vigilantes hounded his family, and a Facebook group dedicated to finding him was inundated with messages calling him a terrorist. Jay Willis, GQ, "Racist Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg Did This All to Himself," 19 May 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

13 Oct 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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Comments on inundate

What made you want to look up inundate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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