over·​whelmed ˌō-vər-ˈ(h)welmd How to pronounce overwhelmed (audio)
: overcome by force or numbers
Some jurisdictions are so overwhelmed that they are experimenting with routing school-children into specially designed courts that would keep first-time offenders from being saddled with an arrest record.Gary Fields and John R. Emshwiller
Only three Coast Guard rescue helicopters had managed to get into the air, and each was already overwhelmed by dozens of calls for help.Christopher Cooper and Robert Block
"We were overwhelmed," said John Robinson, the Rams' coach. "Clearly dominated."Paul Zimmerman
: completely overcome or overpowered by thought or feeling
When he first appeared in full regalia, I was overwhelmed.Jane Davison
Suddenly he felt overwhelmed by a wash of terror.Holly Black
He finds that the institutions that might compensate for what overwhelmed parents are unable to do are themselves undermined by stingy public policies.Lisbeth B. Schorr

Examples of overwhelmed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The surge in cases is not like in previous years when hospitals were overwhelmed with patients. Michelle Marchante, Miami Herald, 11 July 2024 Dogs are dumped at overwhelmed shelters or are left on the street where the unvaccinated and unsocialized animals may attack people. Nadia Scharf, The Indianapolis Star, 9 July 2024 Emergency rooms in Miami-Dade are frequently overwhelmed by the needs of homeless patients whose cancers have progressed untreated, requiring complex management regimens and palliative care. Emily Eachus, Sun Sentinel, 9 July 2024 Last month, Biden took executive action to turn away migrants when the border is overwhelmed after congressional Republicans blocked compromise legislation that sought the same goal. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 7 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for overwhelmed 

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of overwhelmed was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near overwhelmed

Cite this Entry

“Overwhelmed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overwhelmed. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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