overwhelmed

adjective over·whelmed \ ˌō-vər-ˈhwelmd , -ˈwelmd \

Definition of overwhelmed

1 : 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
2 : 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

First Known Use of overwhelmed

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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