over·​whelm·​ing | \ ˌō-vər-ˈ(h)wel-miŋ How to pronounce overwhelming (audio) \

Definition of overwhelming

: tending or serving to overwhelm overwhelming force overwhelming evidence also : extreme, great overwhelming indifference an overwhelming majority

Examples of overwhelming in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To want the blank page to feel like a window into endless opportunity instead of overwhelming emptiness. Rachel Z. Arndt, Popular Mechanics, "Why You Should Ditch Microsoft Word for NotePad," 8 Mar. 2019 The Disney Parks blog says that the lands are opening a little earlier than expected due to overwhelming interest. Megan Friedman And Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Disney Just Released New Details for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Both Disney World and Disneyland," 8 Mar. 2019 No place in the world is as inspiring—or overwhelming—as the paint aisle. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Can't Pick a Color? Try This Designer's Genius Tip for Navigating the Paint Aisle," 8 Mar. 2019 The two split when his touring schedule and rising fame grew too overwhelming to maintain their relationship. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "A Timeline of Justin Bieber's Dating History," 10 July 2018 In addition to the ideas of rejuvenation and renewal, the overwhelming feeling is luxury. Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "La Prairie's New $655 Cream Contains Ingredients From the Stars," 28 Feb. 2019 Looking at the genomic sequencing of 53 species of arachnids, horseshoe crabs and sea spiders, Ballesteros' team found overwhelming data putting Xiphosura within the anarchid family. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study: Horseshoe Crabs Really Are Arachnids, Just Like Spiders," 28 Feb. 2019 Your pain comes with a sense of overwhelming panic. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "How to Know If Your Abdominal Pain Is Physical or Mental," 16 Feb. 2019 The soft seafoam green of the paper works well with the gray-toned, subdued palette of the space; it's eye-catching but not overwhelming. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Need Wall Art Ideas? Try Framing A Piece Of Wallpaper," 23 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overwhelming.' 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 overwhelming

1567, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overwhelming

Last Updated

21 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for overwhelming

The first known use of overwhelming was in 1567

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More Definitions for overwhelming



English Language Learners Definition of overwhelming

: very great in number, effect, or force
used to describe something that is so confusing, difficult, etc., that you feel unable to do it


over·​whelm·​ing | \ ˌō-vər-ˈhwel-miŋ How to pronounce overwhelming (audio) , -ˈwel-\

Kids Definition of overwhelming

1 : very great or strong an overwhelming majority
2 : very difficult or confusing an overwhelming task

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More from Merriam-Webster on overwhelming

Spanish Central: Translation of overwhelming

Nglish: Translation of overwhelming for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overwhelming for Arabic Speakers

Comments on overwhelming

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


the range of authority or knowledge

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