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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce overwhelmed (audio)

Dictionary definition of overwhelmed

Deeply affected, emotionally or mentally, by an excessive or intense amount of something.
"The sheer number of applicants overwhelmed the selection committee."

Detailed meaning of overwhelmed

When someone is overwhelmed, they feel a sense of being overpowered, inundated, or unable to cope with the magnitude, intensity, or complexity of a situation or task. It often entails a feeling of being mentally or emotionally burdened, resulting in a sense of being unable to handle or process everything effectively. Overwhelm can manifest in various contexts, such as experiencing an overwhelming amount of work, responsibilities, emotions, information, or challenges. It can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, or being mentally exhausted. The adjective "overwhelmed" conveys a sense of being overcome or overburdened by the circumstances, often requiring support, prioritization, or strategies for managing and regaining a sense of balance.

Example sentences containing overwhelmed

1. She felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work that awaited her.
2. The new employee was overwhelmed by the complexity of the company's processes.
3. The mother of three young children often felt overwhelmed by her daily responsibilities.
4. The student became overwhelmed by the amount of studying required for the exams.
5. He was overwhelmed with joy when he received the news of his promotion.
6. The team was overwhelmed by the support they received from their fans.

History and etymology of overwhelmed

The adjective 'overwhelmed' can be dissected etymologically to reveal its meaning. It consists of two key elements: 'over,' which implies excess or beyond, and 'whelm,' derived from the Middle English word 'whelmen,' meaning to overturn or engulf, which can be traced back to Old English 'whelmian.' When combined, 'overwhelmed' conveys the idea of being deeply affected, emotionally or mentally, by an excessive or intense amount of something that figuratively engulfs or overturns one's usual state of being. This etymology vividly captures the sense of being submerged or overpowered by an overwhelming flood of emotions, tasks, or circumstances, rendering one in a state of feeling emotionally or mentally inundated.

Quiz: Find the meaning of overwhelmed

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Further usage examples of overwhelmed

1. The flood of emotions during the wedding ceremony left the couple feeling overwhelmed.
2. The overwhelmed server struggled to keep up with the demands of the busy restaurant.
3. The traveler was overwhelmed by the beauty of the natural landscape.
4. The actor was overwhelmed with gratitude upon receiving the prestigious award.
5. The overwhelmed organization sought volunteers to assist with their growing workload.
6. She felt overwhelmed by the weight of her responsibilities.
7. The sheer number of tasks made him feel overwhelmed.
8. The news of the accident left them all overwhelmed with grief.
9. The amount of support we received overwhelmed us with gratitude.
10. The new project's complexity left her feeling overwhelmed.
11. He was overwhelmed by the beauty of the sunset.
12. The crowded room left her feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
13. The unexpected loss of her job left her feeling overwhelmed.
14. The generosity of strangers overwhelmed him with emotion.
15. The scale of the disaster left everyone overwhelmed.
16. The unexpected success of their business left them overwhelmed.
17. She was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and sympathy.
18. The challenges of parenthood can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed.
19. The demands of the job often left him overwhelmed and exhausted.
20. The noise in the city made her feel overwhelmed and stressed.
21. The task of organizing the event left her feeling overwhelmed.
22. The support from friends and family overwhelmed her with joy.
23. The workload was so heavy that he felt overwhelmed.
24. The beauty of nature often leaves us feeling overwhelmed.
25. The unexpected opportunity left them overwhelmed with excitement.



swamped, unburdened, relieved, untroubled


Prefix over-, Challenges and Distress, Emotional Intensity and Reactions, Emotions and Serendipity

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