over·whelm·ing | \ˌō-vər-ˈ(h)wel-miŋ \

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

The results so far had not been overwhelming in any direction. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres find they can't turn all blue eyes brown, but ...," 14 July 2018 No doubt this has left you with an overwhelming set of questions about the latest must-haves. refinery29.com, "How To Shop Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale Before Everyone Else," 13 July 2018 The paint-alongs’ overwhelming popularity was so striking that other Utah libraries launched their own. Julia Lyon, Washington Post, "People are waiting in line. Is it Hamilton? No, it’s Bob Ross on YouTube.," 13 July 2018 But with over 400 beauty exclusives available alone, the sale can get to feel a bit overwhelming. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018: Best Makeup Deals," 13 July 2018 While the morning after the election was a bleak realization for many Americans, those who attended McKissick’s pitch meeting were brought together by an overwhelming sense of responsibility. Jessi Roti, chicagotribune.com, "Feast aims to improve Chicago's food deserts through community-focused music and arts," 12 July 2018 Customers shouldn't expect an overwhelming burst of energy. Zahria Rogers, The Courier-Journal, "Concierge IV hydration therapy service seeks to rehydrate Louisville," 12 July 2018 The drink was sweet and thick, but not in an overwhelming way. Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com, "I Ate Like Supermodel Kate Upton for Three Days — and It Wasn’t That Hard," 12 July 2018 The Cardinal hold an overwhelming 83 percent of his predictions. William Wilkerson, star-telegram, "These are the Top 11 uncommitted DFW football recruits in 2019," 9 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of overwhelming

1567, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about overwhelming

Share overwhelming

Statistics for overwhelming

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overwhelming

The first known use of overwhelming was in 1567

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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, -ˈwel-\

Kids Definition of overwhelming

1 : very great or strong an overwhelming majority

2 : very difficult or confusing an overwhelming task

Keep scrolling for more

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).


required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!