Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to whelm: compensate, hearken
tr.v. whelmed, whelm·ing, whelms Archaic
1. To cover with water; submerge.
2. To overwhelm.
[Middle English whelmen, to overturn, probably alteration (influenced by helmen, to cover) of whelven, from Old English -hwelfan (as in āhwelfan, to cover over).]
1. to engulf entirely with or as if with water
2. another word for overwhelm
[C13: whelmen to turn over, of uncertain origin]
1. to submerge; engulf.
2. to overcome utterly; overwhelm: whelmed by misfortune.v.i.
3. to roll or surge over something, as in causing it to submerge.
[1250–1300; Middle English whelme, appar. b. dial. whelve (Old English gehwelfan to bend over) and helm2 (v.) (Old English helmian to cover)]
Past participle: whelmed
Switch to new thesaurus
|Verb||1.||whelm - overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli|
devastate - overwhelm or overpower; "He was devastated by his grief when his son died"
clutch, get hold of, seize - affect; "Fear seized the prisoners"; "The patient was seized with unbearable pains"; "He was seized with a dreadful disease"
arouse, elicit, evoke, provoke, enkindle, kindle, fire, raise - call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses); "arouse pity"; "raise a smile"; "evoke sympathy"
kill - overwhelm with hilarity, pleasure, or admiration; "The comedian was so funny, he was killing me!"
benight - overtake with darkness or night
knock out - overwhelm with admiration; "All the guys were knocked out by her charm"
stagger - astound or overwhelm, as with shock; "She was staggered with bills after she tried to rebuild her house following the earthquake"
lock - hold fast (in a certain state); "He was locked in a laughing fit"