whelm

verb \ ˈhwelm , ˈwelm \

Definition of whelm

transitive verb
1 : to turn (something, such as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something : cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect
2 : to overcome in thought or feeling : overwhelm
  • whelmed with a rush of joy
  • —G. A. Wagner
intransitive verb
: to pass or go over something so as to bury or submerge it

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Examples of whelm in a Sentence

  1. the news so whelmed them that they were stunned into silence

Recent Examples of whelm from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whelm.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

It is not overwhelming and it is not underwhelming. You leave the production feeling merely whelmed. Thus wrote Michael Phillips in the Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2001. Contemporary writers like Philips sometimes use "whelm" to denote a middle stage between "underwhelm" and "overwhelm." But that's not how "whelm" has traditionally been used. "Whelm" and "overwhelm" have been with us since Middle English (when they were "whelmen" and "overwhelmen"), and throughout the years their meanings have largely overlapped. Both words early on meant "to overturn," for example, and both have also come to mean "to overpower in thought or feeling." Around 1950, however, folks started using a third word, "underwhelmed," for "unimpressed," and lately "whelmed" has been popping up with the meaning "moderately impressed."

Origin and Etymology of whelm

Middle English



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