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

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To whelming
World English Dictionary
whelm (wɛlm)
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
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

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
Cite This Source
Example sentences
If you do not agree that the evidence is over whelming then let us go no further with this discussion.
The strong scent of tobacco sweet to some noses, over whelming to others permeates the entire place.
For a short stretch, it seems as though the author has embarked upon an over-whelming film.
These breeds generally live quite long lives and thus geriatric issues can become time-consuming and financially over-whelming.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature