in·​un·​date | \ ˈi-(ˌ)nən-ˌdāt How to pronounce inundate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce inundation (audio) \ noun
inundator \ ˈi-​(ˌ)nən-​ˌdā-​tər How to pronounce inundator (audio) \ noun
inundatory \ i-​ˈnən-​də-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce inundatory (audio) \ 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

Downtown was inundated; the city’s main thoroughfare was underwater. Justin Worland / Des Moines, Time, "How Climate Change in Iowa is Changing U.S. Politics," 12 Sep. 2019 This is not the first time the shelter has faced a capacity crisis, as the shelter has been inundated with animals nearly all summer. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Heartbreaking video shows puppies found in plastic trash bag at Harris County Animal Shelter," 6 Sep. 2019 But one thing is for sure: Thailand is inundated with plastic waste. Zoë Schlanger, Quartz, "A dead baby dugong is a reminder that the US helped cause Thailand’s plastic problem," 20 Aug. 2019 Work will continue on various sections of the roadway that was inundated with lava during the 2018 Kilauea volcanic eruption. USA TODAY, "Moon trees, moon film, monk honored: News from around our 50 states," 23 July 2019 The spacious new church was built after the old one a few miles away was inundated up to the balcony in the 2016 flood. David Montgomery, New York Times, "Still Menaced by Flooding, Louisiana Dodges a Storm’s Worst Blows," 14 July 2019 Jones said additional rainfall from Barry could swell the river even higher, potentially inundating significant parts of the city. Daniel Cusick, Scientific American, "Disasters Collide as Tropical Storm Barry Heads Ashore," 12 July 2019 TEN days after a flash flood inundated a 10km-deep network of caves in Thailand which 12 boys and their football coach had been exploring, the missing team was found alive by rescue divers. The Economist, "The Thai cave rescue," 5 July 2018 Venice's historical acqua alta (high water) events can inundate parts of the lagoon later in the fall, but festival participants have been hit with early previews caused by sudden rainstorms that have sent them scrambling for higher ground. Sharon Swart, The Hollywood Reporter, "Soggy in Venice: How Stylists Navigate the Rainy Weather," 23 Aug. 2019

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

15 Sep 2019

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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
formal : to cover (something) with a flood of water


in·​un·​date | \ ˈin-ən-ˌdāt How to pronounce inundate (audio) \
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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recurring in steady succession

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