whelm

whelm

[hwelm, welm]
verb (used with object)
1.
to submerge; engulf.
2.
to overcome utterly; overwhelm: whelmed by misfortune.
verb (used without object)
3.
to roll or surge over something, as in becoming submerged.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English whelme, apparently blend of dial. whelve (Old English gehwelfan to bend over) and helm2 (v.) (Old English helmian to cover)

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World English Dictionary
whelm (wɛlm)
 
vb
1.  to engulf entirely with or as if with water
2.  another word for overwhelm
 
[C13: whelmen to turn over, of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

whelm
c.1300, probably from a parallel form of O.E. -hwielfan (W.Saxon), -hwelfan (Mercian), in ahwelfan "cover over;" probably altered by association with O.E. helmian "to cover" (see helmet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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