in·​un·​date ˈi-(ˌ)nən-ˌdāt How to pronounce inundate (audio)
inundated; inundating

transitive verb

: overwhelm
was inundated with phone calls
: to cover with a flood : overflow
inundation noun
inundator noun
inundatory adjective

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 emails, 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 Soon the Peruvian government was inundated with protests from the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Bertrand Russell. Clay Risen,, 15 Sep. 2023 On the other side of the world in early August, China, arguably the cradle of civilization in the East, was inundated with rain in the region surrounding the capital of Beijing. Win McCormack, The New Republic, 14 Sep. 2023 While the musical dog whistle’s echos fade back into the cacophony of constant and scary, angry, accusatory noise we are all inundated with, the song that tells a simple story of humans trying to move forward remains. cleveland, 14 Sep. 2023 Home to fewer than 15,000 full-time residents, the town was then inundated by fans of the film in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 13 Sep. 2023 Satellite imagery taken Wednesday revealed how flooding inundated Libya’s port city of Derna in the country’s east, blasting through dams, drowning entire neighborhoods and cutting off roads. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 August 31, 2023 Flooding from Idalia also inundated streets in McClellanville, about 40 miles north of Charleston along the South Carolina coast. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 31 Aug. 2023 The catastrophic storm surges inundating Florida’s Big Bend region during Hurricane Idalia could sweep some of the area’s 1,000 manatees inland, potentially marooning the animals when the deluge diminishes. Jo Craven McGinty, WSJ, 31 Aug. 2023 During Hurricane Ian, for instance, southwest Florida’s Lee County was inundated with frantic 911 calls from people drowning in their homes, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said in a news briefing. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inundate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of inundate was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near inundate

Cite this Entry

“Inundate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​un·​date ˈin-(ˌ)ən-ˌdāt How to pronounce inundate (audio)
inundated; inundating
: to cover with a flood : deluge entry 1
: overwhelm sense 2
inundated with e-mail
inundation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on inundate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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