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whelm

[hwelm, welm] /ʰwɛlm, wɛlm/
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
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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for whelm

whelm

/wɛlm/
verb (transitive) (archaic)
1.
to engulf entirely with or as if with water
2.
another word for overwhelm
Word Origin
C13: whelmen to turn over, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for whelm
v.

c.1300, probably from a parallel form of Old English -hwielfan (West Saxon), -hwelfan (Mercian), in ahwelfan "cover over;" probably altered by association with Old English helmian "to cover" (see helmet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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