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

Air travel can be quite the grind, with outdated terminals, underwhelming food at overwhelming prices, and ample opportunities to see people without shoes on. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Inside the World’s Best Airport," 28 Mar. 2019 Once the breech and barrel assembly is removed from the body, the complexity becomes overwhelming. Matthew Moss, Popular Mechanics, "We Got Our Hands on an HK G11, the Space-Age Rifle That Never Was," 20 Mar. 2019 Judi, who did not sew, had enlisted her good friend Shirley Travelstead to assist her, but the need for gowns became too overwhelming for just one person. Kate Bennis, Good Housekeeping, "These Angel Gowns Bring Comfort to Grieving Families," 26 Dec. 2018 At around five hours long, Déraciné is short enough that these problems never become overwhelming. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Déraciné is a short, somber VR story from the creators of Dark Souls," 6 Nov. 2018 The comedy follows a young woman who gets the chance to relive her carefree childhood when the pressures of adult life become too overwhelming. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "21 Under 21: Marsai Martin Will Executive Produce and Star in Her Own Movie at 14," 5 Nov. 2018 As that reputation spreads, the time demands can become overwhelming. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "You Could Be Too Much of a Team Player," 23 July 2018 With an audience came a level of scrutiny that quickly became overwhelming. Lydia Kiesling, The Cut, "The Evolution of a Mormon Mommy Blogger," 27 June 2018 And the artifice — just the artifice of the genre — became overwhelming. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "The Director Of This Year's Cutest Rom-Com Is Determined To Revive The Romantic Comedy," 14 June 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.

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First Known Use of overwhelming

1567, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for overwhelming

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


something valued as if it were money

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