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Overwhelm   Listen
verb
Overwhelm  v. t.  (past & past part. overwhelmed; pres. part. overwhelming)  
1.
To cover over completely, as by a great wave; to overflow and bury beneath; to ingulf; hence, figuratively, to immerse and bear down; to overpower; to crush; to bury; to oppress, etc., overpoweringly. "The sea overwhelmed their enemies." "Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me." "Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o'erwhelm them." "Gaza yet stands; but all her sons are fallen, All in a moment overwhelmed and fallen."
2.
To project or impend over threateningly. "His louering brows o'erwhelming his fair sight."
3.
To cause to surround, to cover.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Overwhelm" Quotes from Famous Books



... of his primal environment, and against its insidious suggestions of license, Carmen moved before him like the shechinah of Israel, symbolizing the divine presence. When the dark hours came and his pronounced egoism bade fair to overwhelm him; when his self-centered thought clung with the tenacity of a limpet to his dreary surroundings and his unfilled longings; when self-condemnation and self-pity rived his soul, and despair of solving life's intricate problems settled again like a pall ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... and rushed in tumult on Achilles, raging from on high, thundering with foam and blood and bodies of dead men. Then did a dark wave of the heaven-sprung River stand towering up and overwhelm the son of Peleus. But Hera cried aloud in terror of Achilles, lest the great deep-eddying River sweep him away, and straightway she called to Hephaistos, her dear son: "Rise, lame god, O my son; it was against thee we thought that eddying Xanthos was matched in fight. Help with all ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer (Lang, Leaf, Myers trans.)

... of Virginia, concerning Fillmore's compromise measures of 1850, which had been passed by Congress, and said, 'that the volcano has been extinguished, and the man who would apply the firebrand to the combustible materials still remaining, will produce an eruption that will overwhelm the Constitution ...
— Americanism Contrasted with Foreignism, Romanism, and Bogus Democracy in the Light of Reason, History, and Scripture; • William Gannaway Brownlow

... happiness is the sport of every whim, and the prey of every passion that may, occasionally, or habitually, infest the master's bosom. If we could calculate the amount of wo endured by ill-treated slaves, it would overwhelm every compassionate heart—it would move even the obdurate to sympathy. There is also a vast sum of suffering inflicted upon the slave by humane masters, as a punishment for that idleness and ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... of all questions must be tabooed. The Swiss guide enjoins silence in the region of avalanches, lest the mere vibration of the voice should dislodge the ruin clinging by frail roots of snow. But where is our avalanche to fall? It is to overwhelm the Union, we are told. The real danger to the Union will come when the encroachments of the Slave-Power and the concessions of the Trade-Power shall have made it a burden instead of a blessing. The real avalanche to be dreaded,—are we to expect it from the ever-gathering mass of ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... lamp was lighted. Alea jacta est! Seized by the instinct of self-preservation, he thought then of saving himself. It might occur to any of the guests through curiosity to tamper with the wick and then would come the explosion to overwhelm them all. Still he heard Simoun say to the cochero, "The ...
— The Reign of Greed - Complete English Version of 'El Filibusterismo' • Jose Rizal

... me in search of a footstool, to make me hold her fan, to overwhelm me with questions and bewilder me with a thousand coquetries, were the immediate proceedings of Madame de Marignan. A consummate tactician, she succeeded, before a quarter of an hour had gone by, in putting me at my ease, and in drawing from me everything that I had to ...
— In the Days of My Youth • Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards

... exclaimed Duff one day to Rucker, after Gary had brought the schooner unscathed through a mountainous wave that had threatened to overwhelm everything. "I will say this for him, he knows how ...
— Ralph Granger's Fortunes • William Perry Brown

... or a famine send thousands of the guilty and the innocent alike—nay, thousands of those who know not their right hand from their left—to one common destruction? Does not God (if you suppose it his doing) swallow up whole cities by earthquake, or overwhelm them with volcanic fires? I say, is there any difference between the cases, except that the victims are very rarely so wicked as the Canaanites are said to have been, and that God in the one case himself does the very things which he commissions men to do in the other? Now, if ...
— The Eclipse of Faith - Or, A Visit To A Religious Sceptic • Henry Rogers

... people have need of but one King' wherefore it beseemeth that he be well acquainted with their natures, that he reduce their discord to concord, that with his justice be encompass them all and with his bounties overwhelm them all. And know, O King, that Ardeshir, styled Jamr Shadid, or the Live Coal, third of the Kings of Persia, conquered the whole world and divided it into four divisions and, for this purpose, ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... a cold fear seemed to overwhelm him. He realized that Strom was a zealot, and he knew he would not hesitate to kill. This prompt penetration of his disguise was something he had ...
— In the Orbit of Saturn • Roman Frederick Starzl

... wretched villages, half under water, and a large town at the foot of a mountain, which looked ready to overwhelm it, the name of which the travellers could not learn, were passed in succession. They met a great number of canoes built like those on the Bonny and Calabar Rivers. The crews stared in astonishment at the white men whom they dared not address. ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century • Jules Verne

... the water will get any higher? Could it possibly overwhelm us in this tree? We could climb up twenty feet ...
— The Outdoor Chums After Big Game - Or, Perilous Adventures in the Wilderness • Captain Quincy Allen

... "You overwhelm me, gentlemen," said the colonel, rising from his seat and seizing us by the hands. "It has been the dream of my life to have you both with me in this enterprise, but I had no idea it would be realized so soon. Fill yo' glasses and join me in a sentiment that is dear to me as ...
— Colonel Carter of Cartersville • F. Hopkinson Smith

... us the opportunity of flying away from our under them, and madest the dominion of Pharaoh inferior to my dominion; thou who didst make the sea dry land for us, when we knew not whither to go, and didst overwhelm the Egyptians with those destructive waves which had been divided for us; thou who didst bestow upon us the security of weapons when we were naked; thou who didst make the fountains that were corrupted to flow, so as to be fit for drinking, and didst ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... prowl into the forest, we found the inn dark. Such people as may have called in had gone home; but we suspected that Franziska had given the neighbours a hint not to overwhelm us on our first arrival. When we entered the big room, Franziska came in with candles; then she brought some matches, and also put on the table an odd little pack of cards, and went out. Her uncle and aunt had, even before we went out, come and bade us good-night formally, ...
— Stories By English Authors: Germany • Various

... some danger, at first, that the enemy, reinforced from Caimanera or Guantanamo city, would assemble in force on the slopes of the eastern hills, creep up through the scrub until they were within a short distance of the camp, and then overwhelm the marines in a sudden rush-assault. They were known to have six thousand regulars at Guantanamo city, only about fifteen miles away, and it was quite within the bounds of possibility that they might detach a large part of this force for offensive operations ...
— Campaigning in Cuba • George Kennan

... automatic—a battery of guns!" replied Lanstron. "This is where I will use any influence I have with Partow for all it is worth. Now, let the red-tapists dare to point to his past when I ask anything for him and I'll overwhelm them with the living present! Yes, and he shall have the iron cross. It is for such deeds as his that the iron ...
— The Last Shot • Frederick Palmer

... black clouds dragging near, Against this lonely elm Thrust all his strength to maim and overwhelm In ...
— Georgian Poetry 1918-19 • Various

... Mithra-cult was spread over the whole Western world. It has left many monuments of itself here in Britain. At Rome the worship was extremely popular, and it may almost be said to have been a matter of chance whether Mithraism should overwhelm Christianity, or whether the younger religion by adopting many of the rites of the older one should establish itself (as it did) in the face of ...
— Pagan & Christian Creeds - Their Origin and Meaning • Edward Carpenter

... occupation. And, on humanitarian grounds and in support of our friends in the region, we have worked vigorously with international organizations to arrange relief and resettlement for the exodus of Indo-chinese refugees which threatened to overwhelm these nations. ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... Evie's words of warning!—If but one of those possible Ifs had been accomplished, she would have been among the happy crowd to-day, and not standing miserably apart, the only girl in the house who had failed to pass. The wild grief of the first few days swept back like a wave and threatened to overwhelm her, but she clung to the remembrance of Tom's words, and told herself passionately that she would not "whine"! She would not pose as a martyr! Even on that great occasion when the certificates were presented in Great Hall, and the school burst into ...
— Tom and Some Other Girls - A Public School Story • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... with this verse: All evils would have overwhelmed us, as they shall overwhelm the unbelievers forever, if Christ had not become the great transgressor and guilty bearer of all our sins. The sins of the world got Him down for a moment. They came around Him like water. Of Christ, the Old Testament Prophet complained: "Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; ...
— Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians • Martin Luther

... gracious sinlessness of Jesus Christ. It will look upon sin's stains as they stand out in contrast with His purity, its ingratitude in contrast with His compassion. He will be the atmosphere of the soul's existence. All the shame and dishonour, which in life the soul so complacently accepted, will then overwhelm it with self-reproach and very bitter compunction. This is what is meant by seeing sins as GOD sees them. It is to see them as the soul will see them under the sense of the Presence of the Holy Christ. Then will the soul know its guilt as it never knew it before. The guilt of sin will ...
— The Life of the Waiting Soul - in the Intermediate State • R. E. Sanderson

... be able to see the light of day? Shall I ever dare to raise my eyes after this filthy crime? Oh Heaven, Heaven, overwhelm me. Avenging thunderbolt of omnipotent God, reduce me to ashes, restore me again to the nothingness, from which I ought ...
— The Grip of Desire • Hector France

... at the glow in the grate. He kept on talking cheerfully, optimistically, as if he wished to prevent the gloom of night to overwhelm them. Then, presently, the girl seemed to shake herself free from some benumbing influence, as she turned to ...
— Dorian • Nephi Anderson

... dawn the next morning, preceded by an intense artillery fire. It was to be the fiercest rain of shells since the Americans had come to the front lines. Then the infantry, supported by tanks and aeroplanes, would follow, going over in waves which it was hoped would overwhelm the Germans. ...
— Air Service Boys in the Big Battle • Charles Amory Beach

... rocky island, covered with huge trees, oak, pine, and cypress, its water-fretted shores and steep cliffs formed of ragged rocks, against which the waves of the cataract dash and foam in vain endeavours to overwhelm it. This little island, so annoyed by the mighty and wrathful fiends who sit in that surge, is famous throughout the Indian nations for being the abode of the spirits of the warriors of the Andirondacks—a tribe which no longer exist—who, once upon a time, many ages ago, ...
— Traditions of the North American Indians, Vol. 3 (of 3) • James Athearn Jones

... been declared by Austria-Hungary, on July 28, 1914, when the armies of the Dual Empire began gathering along the Serbian frontiers; then, within a few days, they hurled themselves into Serbia, hoping to overwhelm her by the sheer weight of their numbers. Not only did the soldiers of the little Balkan nation withstand the onslaught of the imperial troops, but within the week they had swept them back, driving them across ...
— The Story of the Great War, Volume IV (of 8) • Francis J. (Francis Joseph) Reynolds, Allen L. (Allen Leon)

... stopping the accusations she saw were ready to overwhelm the offending little girl; "come here, and let me talk to you about this sad thing you have done to the little birds. Do you see what you have ...
— Fanny, the Flower-Girl • Selina Bunbury

... sword" will represent his awful justice against the impenitent who resist his righteous authority. "With the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." (Is. xi. 4; Luke xix. 27.) "His countenance as the sun shining in his strength," disclosed to the beloved disciple such splendor as to overwhelm him. The like display of divine majesty was insupportable to Saul of Tarsus when on his way to Damascus. (Acts xxvi. 13.) To the workers of iniquity, "our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. xii. 29.) It is a certain truth,—"The vengeance of the gospel is weighter than the vengeance of the ...
— Notes On The Apocalypse • David Steele

... her. A man of obscure birth, however, one of the common people, at length took her for his wife. His name was Eetion. One day, Eetion went to Delphi to consult an oracle, and as he was entering the temple, the Pythian[J] called out to him, saying that a stone should proceed from Labda which should overwhelm tyrants and usurpers, and free the state. The nobles, when they heard of this, understood the prediction to mean that the destruction of their power was, in some way or other, to be effected by means of Labda's ...
— Darius the Great - Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... American people know the difference between liberty and license, by their support of the party of order and constitutional government, and by administering a thorough rebuke to those licentious men who are seeking to overwhelm the country and its Constitution in ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... woollen stuff, filled with rags and hair, and then rush on the enemy, the right hand wielding the knife."[3138]—Let us use these knives as soon as possible, for "what means are now remaining for us to put an end to the problems which overwhelm us? I repeat it, no other but executions by the people."[3139]—The Throne is at last down; but "be careful not to give way to false pity!.... No quarter! I advise you to decimate the anti-revolutionary members of the municipality, of the justices of the peace, of the members of the ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... bent his head a second time. "I am a great god," he answered, "before all others save you: but for you, Tu-Kila-Kila, I haste to do your bidding. If any man disobey you, my billows shall rise and overwhelm him in the sea. I am a great god. I claim each year ...
— The Great Taboo • Grant Allen

... to fold you in my arms, and then I will overwhelm you with a million of kisses burning ...
— The Empress Josephine • Louise Muhlbach

... the call of experience which was sure to be death-dealing. The old prohibitions are still active in it in the terror with which life is viewed, in the menace and cruelty of things, the sharpness of edges encountered, the weight of the masses that threaten to fall and overwhelm, the fury and blackness and horror of nature once again regarded. Again and again there passes through it the haggard, shrouded figure of the Russian Jew. The "Poems of 1917" are full of the wailings and rockings of little old Ghetto mothers. Again and ...
— Musical Portraits - Interpretations of Twenty Modern Composers • Paul Rosenfeld

... Keats, "the principle of beauty in all things." It is that to which all I have said has been leading, as many roads unite in one. We must try to use discrimination, not to be so optimistic that we see beauty if it is not there, not to overwhelm every fling that every craftsman has at beauty with gush and panegyric; not to praise beauty in all companies, or to go off like a ripe broom-pod, at a touch. When Walter Pater was confronted with something which courtesy demanded that he should seem to admire, he used to say in that soft ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... the inside of the fabric, from whence half-figures of angels are seen to issue,—the pendants dropping, like congelations in a grotto, from a roof adorned with the most delicate tracery spread over it like a web,—these and a countless multitude of minuter beauties, almost distract attention, and overwhelm the judgment with their ...
— Bell's Cathedrals: The Abbey Church of Tewkesbury - with some Account of the Priory Church of Deerhurst Gloucestershire • H. J. L. J. Masse

... international concert which must thereafter hold the world at peace. In every discussion of the peace that must end this war it is taken for granted that that peace must be followed by some definite concert of power which will make it virtually impossible that any such catastrophe should ever overwhelm us again. Every lover of mankind, every sane and thoughtful man must take that ...
— My Three Years in America • Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff

... in a certain state of mind, might well overwhelm this young man, who was ere long to yearn for the cloister and was destined to be the founder of African monasticism. To give his whole life to the study of wisdom, to compel himself towards the contemplation of God, to live here below an almost divine ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... feet, indignant, majestic, terrible. Her attitude was that of anathema incarnated in a woman. Rey remained seated, serene, courageous, with the passive courage of a profound conviction and an immovable resolve. The whole weight of his aunt's wrath, threatening to overwhelm him, did not make him move an ...
— Dona Perfecta • B. Perez Galdos

... side of the plateau above the native town of Rabat. The mighty wall enclosing them faces the city wall of Rabat, looking at it across one of those great red powdery wastes which seem, in this strange land, like death and the desert forever creeping up to overwhelm ...
— In Morocco • Edith Wharton

... overwhelm me!" said Khlobuev, staring at his companion in open-eyed astonishment. "I can scarcely believe that your words are true, seeing that for such a trust an active, indefatigable man would be necessary. Moreover, how could I leave my ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... emotions at war in him—scorn, and pity, and wounded love, and pride too proud to sue for a gratitude denied, or quote a sacrifice that was almost without parallel in generosity, all held him speechless. To overwhelm the sinner before him with reproaches, to count and claim the immeasurable debts due to him, to upbraid and to revile the wretched weakness that had left the soil of a guilt not his own to rest upon him—to do aught of this was not in him. Long ago he had accepted the weight of an alien crime, ...
— Under Two Flags • Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]

... allegorical, and in their spiritual and true sense treat of the regeneration of man, and his fall through the seduction of his lowest or sensual nature and appetites, as men are seduced to-day; and of a flood of evils and falses, similar to the flood which threatens to overwhelm the Christian world, at least in our land, at this day; and a New Church as an ark of safety. While the Science of Correspondences shows that there are no more contradictions in the Word of the Lord than in His works, there are apparent truths and real truths in both. ...
— Personal Experience of a Physician • John Ellis

... completely subsided, when some portions of the wrecks, which have been scattered in the fearful commotion, may be thrown safely on to the shores of reunion. It was anticipated, especially by the rebels themselves, that these incalculable losses, these tremendous shocks and sudden changes, would utterly overwhelm the North with ruin and tear her to pieces with faction and disorder. But this anticipation of accumulated disasters, in which the wish was father to the thought, has not been realized to any appreciable extent. The pecuniary losses have been in a great measure compensated ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... the neighborhood to breed malaria; should so arrange matters, that the ground would occasionally open and swallow a few of his darlings, and besides all this, should establish a few volcanoes in the immediate vicinity, that might at any moment overwhelm his children with rivers of fire? Suppose that this father neglected to tell his children which of the plants were deadly; that the reptiles were poisonous; failed to say anything about the earthquakes, and kept the volcano business ...
— Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll, Volume I • Robert Green Ingersoll

... temple. The pediment and moulding of a column lay at my feet,—around and opposite across the valley were numerous sepulchres hewn in the solid rock; yet the infantry of the Syrians were sufficient to overwhelm the gallant defenders. Judas in this emergency resolved to come to their relief, raising the siege of the citadel and outflanking the enemy. For this purpose he "pitched at Bath Zacharias over against the king's camp," (ver. 32.) This ...
— Byeways in Palestine • James Finn

... miserable fate, would wonder over each inequality of spirits I betrayed, condemn every tear I shed, read every letter I received, and, at the slightest appearance of equivocation or deceit, would banish me from his heart, and overwhelm me with his just anger. But it was too late, I said to myself—too late to retract, too late to think. I mentally closed my eyes, and passed through the next twenty-four hours like some one walking in ...
— Ellen Middleton—A Tale • Georgiana Fullerton

... answered Leonard coldly, "but please understand that we are still surrounded by many dangers, which any treachery might cause to overwhelm us. Therefore I warn you that should I detect anything of the sort my answer to it ...
— The People Of The Mist • H. Rider Haggard

... door was open, for the people had heard what had happened. Peasants and peasant women and girls, excited with anger, as if every man had been robbed and every woman attacked, wished to see the wretch brought back, so that they might overwhelm him with abuse. They hooted him from the first house in the village until they reached the Hotel de Ville, where the mayor was waiting for him to be himself avenged on this vagabond, and as soon as he saw him ...
— Une Vie, A Piece of String and Other Stories • Guy de Maupassant

... element so congenial to my disposition. For some years I continued the profession, and was fortunate in my speculations; but I cared little for gain; my delight was in roving from clime to clime, flying before the gale,—in looking with defiance at the vast mountainous seas which threatened to overwhelm me,—in the roaring of the wind,—in the mad raging of the surf,—in the excitement of battle, even in the destruction and disasters ...
— The Pacha of Many Tales • Frederick Marryat

... bodies of the people were held in all the leading cities and towns throughout the kingdom to petition the Prince Regent and parliament to do something effectual to stay the tide of calamity that seemed to be setting steadily in to overwhelm the nation. ...
— Recollections of Old Liverpool • A Nonagenarian

... invariably the relays through all the subsequent periods affirm their own contemporaries to have attained. Every decennium is regularly worse than that which precedes it, until the mind is perfectly confounded by the Pelion upon Ossa which must overwhelm the last term of the twenty-five. It is the mere necessity of a logical sorites, that such a horrible race of villains as the men of the twenty-fifth decennium ought not to be suffered to breathe. Now, the whole error arises out of an imbecile self-surrender ...
— The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 1 (2 vols) • Thomas De Quincey

... to run them down. So the universe loomed over him now, rushed down to crush him. The other people of the world were asleep in their places; his creditors, his rivals were resting, gaining strength to overwhelm him on the morrow, and he must face ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... Turkey. These fearful heaps of peril lie so heavy at our hearts, since we know not into which we shall fortune to fall and therefore fear all the worst, that (as our Saviour prophesied of the people of Jerusalem) many among us wish already, before the peril come, that the mountains would overwhelm them or the valleys open and swallow ...
— Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation - With Modifications To Obsolete Language By Monica Stevens • Thomas More

... a skirmish line was an indication of a proportionately strong force to support it. When they found us closing in upon their flanks, they concluded we were far superior in numbers, and certain to overwhelm them. With but slight resistance they fled the field, leaving much of their transportation and equipments to fall into our hands. We called in our skirmishers and pressed them in vigorous pursuit, capturing wagons and ...
— Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field • Thomas W. Knox

... of illusion. No longer can the outside of things deceive him, or the defeats of the higher by the lower deject, much less overwhelm him. He sees the reality behind the appearance. He dwells with powers which are invisible and eternal—with justice, with virtue, with beauty, with truth, with love, with excellence. More to him than any house built with hands, more, much more even than the habitation of ...
— Painted Windows - Studies in Religious Personality • Harold Begbie

... think breakfast ought to be hot, so you always have it hot. On occasion I prefer mine cold. Mine is the truer wisdom. You can give the cook my compliments, Phyllis, and tell her—gently, for I don't wish the glad news to overwhelm her—that I enjoyed that cake. Say that I shall be glad to hear from her again. Care for a game of ...
— Love Among the Chickens • P. G. Wodehouse

... least I feel it to be, more especially where there is no immediate object to be gained by a reference to them; let me therefore turn from any inquiry into the causes which plunged South Australia into difficulties that threatened to overwhelm her, to those ...
— Expedition into Central Australia • Charles Sturt

... to S. Niccolo on the Lido. There a third man joined them, and the fisherman was told to put out to sea. They had not gone far when they met a ship laden with devils which was on her way to unload this cargo at Venice and overwhelm the city. But on the three men rising and making the sign of the cross, the vessel instantly vanished. The fisherman thus knew that his passengers were S. Mark, S. George, and S. Nicholas. S. Mark gave him a ring in token of their sanctity and the deliverance ...
— A Wanderer in Venice • E.V. Lucas

... the validity of any will which he may have made as a single man; and that it renders absolutely necessary the entire re-assertion of his testamentary intentions in the character of a husband. The statement of this plain fact appeared to overwhelm Mr. Vanstone. Declaring that his friend had laid him under an obligation which he should remember to his dying day, he at once left the cottage, at once returned home, and ...
— No Name • Wilkie Collins

... confidence, what profound conviction must we have of the nobleness of our cause, to encounter not merely the dangers which we are about to meet, but that public opinion which will load us with reproaches and overwhelm us if we do not succeed! And still, I call God to witness that it is not to satisfy a personal ambition, but because I believe that I have a mission to fulfill, that I risk that which is more dear to me than life, the esteem ...
— Hortense, Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... accustomed to take God for granted has used almost the same words at some time in his life. The hour of tempest, when the uncontrollable waves of trouble and winds of adversity seemed ready to overwhelm him, when he had done all that mortal might do, then it seemed as though this God to whom he had prayed so often, of whom he had learned to think as part of his life, ...
— Levels of Living - Essays on Everyday Ideals • Henry Frederick Cope

... images he had evoked, he tried to recall no more. And not that his memory failed him, oh no! he knew only too well what followed upon that moment, but he was stifled by shame, even now, so many years after; he dreaded that feeling of self-contempt, which he knew for certain would overwhelm him, and like a torrent, flood all other feelings if he did not bid his memory be still. But try as he would to turn away from these memories, he could not stifle them entirely. He remembered the scoundrelly, tearful, lying, pitiful letter he had sent ...
— The Torrents of Spring • Ivan Turgenev

... in the time of trial, trouble, and sorrow that the Bible proves to be a friend indeed. Happy the Christian who, when dark clouds overwhelm his soul, has a memory well stored with the comforting passages ...
— The Red Eric • R.M. Ballantyne

... certainly was much to superintend, much more than had been anticipated. Mrs. Wiggins was undoubtedly a "peculiar female," as had been expected, but she was so elderly and monstrous that Mrs. Mumpson felt some embarrassment in her purpose to overwhelm Holcroft with a sense of ...
— He Fell in Love with His Wife • Edward P. Roe

... historic man wielding an authority made august by a life's services, a solemn moral authority with which it is ridiculous to compare the purely political influence of anyone who has succeeded him as a tribune of the people—was against Thomas Davis, and able, no one doubted, to overwhelm him and his sympathisers in political ruin. A public career might be closed for all of us; our journal might be extinguished; we were already denounced as intriguers and infidels; it was quite certain that, by-and-by, we would be described as hirelings of the Castle. But Davis was ...
— Thomas Davis, Selections from his Prose and Poetry • Thomas Davis

... again, until they were lost in a tumble of white foam that rushed and receded on the sands. These did not look to be very large until she noticed the twin piers reaching out from the river's mouth. Each billow, as it came in, rose sullenly above them, broke tempestuously to overwhelm the entire structure of their ends, and ripped inshore along their lengths, the crest submerging as it ran every foot of the massive structures. The piers and the light-houses at their ends looked like little toys, and the compact black crowd of people on the shore below were as small ...
— The Riverman • Stewart Edward White

... generous friend, quick—quick—before I go over the sea—wire that you will agree to correct our mutual mistake, remove then the only burden on my wings, and my father, who will be responsible for the whole business, has promised me not to overwhelm you with formalities. So, then, I am free of the ...
— The House with the Mezzanine and Other Stories • Anton Tchekoff

... I answered, speaking very low, for my voice was choked; "but thy songs are not good for the sons of men to hear—of a truth they overwhelm me!" ...
— Cleopatra • H. Rider Haggard

... in fact, that but for the exasperation caused by so many bitter shafts, Jesus might long have remained unnoticed, and have been lost in the dreadful storm which was soon about to overwhelm the whole Jewish nation. The high priesthood and the Sadducees had rather disdained than hated him. The great sacerdotal families, the Boethusim, the family of Hanan, were only fanatical in their conservatism. The Sadducees, like Jesus, ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... own. Evidently, she had felt that the high sphere from which he beckoned was no place for the likes of her. Evidently, she feared she would pine away among those strange splendours, never be acclimatised, always be unworthy. He had thought to overwhelm her, and he had done his work too thoroughly. Now he must try to lighten ...
— Zuleika Dobson - or, An Oxford Love Story • Max Beerbohm

... all now: all the falsehood and treachery and corruption. He realised that Imshi Pasha had given him his hand that he might ruin himself, that his own schemes might overwhelm him in the end. At every turn he had been frustrated—by Imshi Pasha: three years of underground circumvention, with a superficial ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... They shall command you, overwhelm you. Book-lubbers, paper-plodders, shall be as though they were not. The youth of the earth shall be renewed in the morning, the suns and the stars shall be unlocked, and the evening shall go forth ...
— The Lost Art of Reading • Gerald Stanley Lee

... of my moral and religious instruction had been laid with care by my excellent parents; but, alas! from the time I quitted the paternal roof not one stone was added to the building, and even the traces of what existed were nearly obliterated by the deluge of vice which threatened soon to overwhelm me. Sometimes, indeed, I feebly, but ineffectually endeavoured to stem the torrent; at others, I suffered myself to be borne along with all its fatal rapidity. I was frank, generous, quick, and mischievous; ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... be frightened with this proposition, as if some hideous spectre had started from hell, which was to be sent back again by every form of exorcism, and every kind of incantation. I invoke no Acheron to overwhelm him in the whirlpools of his muddy gulf. I do not tell the respectable mover and seconder, by a perversion of their sense and expressions, that their proposition halts between the ridiculous and the dangerous. I am not one of those ...
— Thoughts on the Present Discontents - and Speeches • Edmund Burke

... interest are familiar. There is the method of illustration; there is the method of anecdote: both excellent, and almost indispensable. Only, they are methods which have their risks, and must be used with care. Illustrations are apt to overwhelm the thing illustrated, the moment much detail is allowed; and they are apt to go on three feet, or even upon one, instead of upon four; and they may be drawn from quarters too remote to strike the hearers ...
— To My Younger Brethren - Chapters on Pastoral Life and Work • Handley C. G. Moule

... Madame Mehudin's words, La Normande's silence, and the empty shop downstairs. The markets were leagued against him, he reflected; the whole neighbourhood had conspired to hand him over to the police. The mud of those greasy streets had risen up all around to overwhelm him! ...
— The Fat and the Thin • Emile Zola

... Antonio," continued Salvator, his eyes sparkling with delight "Very well then, you may rely upon it, I will overwhelm your envious overweening persecutors, and get you the honour you deserve. Intrust your picture to me; bring it to my studio secretly by night, and then leave all the rest to me. Will you ...
— Weird Tales. Vol. I • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... Henry. O foolish youth! Thou seek'st a greatness that will overwhelm thee. Stay but a little; for my cloud of dignity Is held from falling by so weak a wind, That it will quickly drop; my day is dim. Thou hast stolen THAT, which after some few hours Were thine without offence; and at my death Thou hast sealed up my expectation; Thy life did manifest thou lovedst ...
— Coronation Anecdotes • Giles Gossip

... he said gently, "you have borne up so bravely against this terrible blow; you must try and not let it overwhelm you." ...
— Okewood of the Secret Service • Valentine Williams

... drowned! He must fix his mind on that. He mustn't think of Tishy; if he did, he knew that this horrible, inhuman surge of joy that was pulsing in him would betray itself in his face, would overwhelm him, like the flood in the river, would sweep away all decency, sympathy, would leave him bare of all that he ought to feel and express. (But to think that he hadn't to get married to-day! Oh, blessed, beautiful Cloherty!) He was going to be very angry with Cloherty, ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... of mind and body that were to play so large a part in his subsequent career were still only beginning. His liver and his gastric juice, his wonder and imagination kept up a fight against the things that threatened to overwhelm soul and body together. Outside the regions devastated by the school curriculum he was still intensely curious. He had cheerful phases of enterprise, and about thirteen he suddenly discovered reading and its joys. He began to read stories voraciously, and books of travel, ...
— The History of Mr. Polly • H. G. Wells

... abdicate. abeto fir. abierto (from abrir) open. abismar to engulf, plunge. abismo abyss. abogado advocate, lawyer. abono manure, fertilizer. abrazar to embrace. abrazo embrace. abreviar to abridge. abrigo shelter. Abril m. April. abrir to open. abrumar to overwhelm. absolutista absolutist, ultra-conservative. absoluto absolute. absorber to absorb. abuelo-a grandparent, ancestor. abultar to increase, enlarge. abundancia abundance. aburrir to weary, bore; vr. be bored, abuso ill use, abuse. aca here, hither. acabar to finish, end; —— ...
— Novelas Cortas • Pedro Antonio de Alarcon

... 'Don't overwhelm the gentlemen with ordinary civilities when you see he's anxious to have something to drink,' said the gentleman with the whiskers, with a jocose air. 'Why don't you ask ...
— The Pickwick Papers • Charles Dickens

... find words to acknowledge that series of welcomes, those unbounded and universal displays of public affection, which have marked each step, each hour, of a twelvemonth's progress through the twenty-four States, and which, while they overwhelm my heart with grateful delight, have most satisfactorily evinced the concurrence of the people in the kind testimonies, in the immense favors bestowed on me by the several branches of their Representatives, in every part and at the central seat ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward

... enterprise, so long interrupted,—the exploring of the regions of Paria, and the establishment of a fishery in the Gulf of Pearls. How illusive were his hopes! At this moment events were maturing which were to overwhelm him with distress, strip him of his honors, and render him comparatively a wreck for the remainder ...
— The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (Vol. II) • Washington Irving

... went on, "and they are strong men, heroes. The Italians are the worn-out scum of ancient Rome, getting the better of us ignobly. But they shall not spoil the Mahometan world. Not even the English, most powerful of the machine nations, shall overwhelm the true faith." ...
— A Tramp's Sketches • Stephen Graham

... We can trace the adoption of English along the seaboard, and in the towns, while Gaelic still remained the language of the countryman. There is no evidence of any English immigration of sufficient proportions to overwhelm the Gaelic population. Like the victory of the conquered English over the conquering Normans, which was even then making fast progress in England, it is a triumph of a kind that subsequent events have revealed as characteristically Anglo-Saxon, and it called ...
— An Outline of the Relations between England and Scotland (500-1707) • Robert S. Rait

... Puritanism bred in rural New England. Such women are the living embodiment of the power which has inspired whatever is best in the nation; the power which has been a living force amid the worldliness, the materialism, the crudity that have threatened to overwhelm the people of this yet young land, so prematurely old. In her face was a look of high unworldliness that marks the mystic, the inheritance from ancestors bred in a faith impossible without mysticism ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... attending the fisheries during the stormy season of the year. The fishermen leave the shore with songs and mirth, for a bright sky and a calm sea promise them good fortune. But, alas, tempests and snow-storms too often overtake the unfortunate boatmen! The sea is lashed into foam, and mighty waves overwhelm boats and fishermen together, and they perish inevitably. It is seldom that the father of a family embarks in the same boat with his sons. They divide themselves among different parties, in order that, if one boat founder, the whole family may ...
— Visit to Iceland - and the Scandinavian North • Ida Pfeiffer

... week has gone since I saw my Love! There it is; no doubt whatever is left in my mind about it now! Since I saw her my passion has grown and grown by leaps and bounds, as novelists put it. It has now become so vast as to overwhelm me, to wipe out all thought of doubt or difficulty. I suppose it must be what men suffered—suffering need not mean pain—under enchantments in old times. I am but as a straw whirled in the resistless ...
— The Lady of the Shroud • Bram Stoker

... foodstuffs containing familiar amino compounds. Our metabolism was designed around them. And since our geneticists have learned how to put aggressiveness into the genes of terrestrial-origin plants—why nowadays they briskly overwhelm the native flora wherever they are introduced. And it's rational to let it happen. If people are to thrive and multiply on new worlds as they are colonized, it's more convenient to modify the worlds to fit the colonists than the colonists ...
— The Pirates of Ersatz • Murray Leinster

... sea terms from a cursory perusal of Bowditch's Navigator, which I had seen lying on the office table, and I privately resolved to procure a compact edition of Marryat's sea tales as soon as I should go ashore, and overwhelm him next time with such accumulated stores of nautical erudition that he would hide his diminished head. I had a dim recollection of reading something in Cooper's novels about a ship's deadheads and cat's eyes, or cat-heads and deadeyes, I could not remember which, and, determined ...
— Tent Life in Siberia • George Kennan

... novice. Through all of them the idea of flight and pursuit ran bewilderingly. I will give one as a specimen. I dreamt that I was on the shore of the sea; the waters suddenly began to rise, and threatened to overwhelm me. I turned and ran, but nearer and nearer the flood came after. Then there yawned across my path a precipice of which I could not see the bottom. Down I plunged. I seemed to fly like a bird, and once more stood on ...
— Under the Dragon Flag - My Experiences in the Chino-Japanese War • James Allan

... bulwark of slavery. Its votaries understood its strength and weakness. Independent, well- paid free labor and industries (46) would ennoble the men of toil, bring wealth and power, build up populous towns and cities, and consequently overwhelm, politically and otherwise, the institution of slavery, or draw into successful social competition with plantation life wealthy inhabitants who knew not slavery and ...
— Slavery and Four Years of War, Vol. 1-2 • Joseph Warren Keifer

... candle in his hand, until he reached the door. The dead man instantly started up, and followed him. A figure of so hideous an appearance, naked, and in motion—the lateness of the hour—the deep silence which prevailed—every thing concurred to overwhelm him with confusion. He let fall the only candle which he had burning, and all was darkness. He made his escape to his bed-chamber, and threw himself on the bed: thither, however, he was pursued; and he soon felt the dead man embracing his ...
— Apparitions; or, The Mystery of Ghosts, Hobgoblins, and Haunted Houses Developed • Joseph Taylor

... the half conscious tribute of a wearied heart. It needed an effort to brace herself against the long hours of a new day, the hours when thoughts would come unbidden, when regrets that she was fighting almost fiercely would rush in and threaten to overwhelm her. But Helen was brave. She had the courage that springs from the conviction of having done that which is right. If she was a woman too, with a woman's infinite capacity for suffering—well, that demanded another sort of bravery, ...
— The Silent Barrier • Louis Tracy

... King One doom shall overwhelm! The oaken cell Shall lodge him well Whose sceptre ruled a realm— While he, who never knew a home, Shall find it in ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... that imparted life and grace to her every movement; her decks tenantless and wave-swept; her hull full of water, and the relentless sea leaping at her with merciless persistency, as though eager to drag her down and overwhelm her! Can you conceive a more ...
— Dick Leslie's Luck - A Story of Shipwreck and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... reason? does not reason sufficiently declare, that there is no real good which you should desire too ardently, or the possession of which you should allow to transport you: and that there is no evil that should be able to overwhelm you, or the suspicion of which should distract you? and that all these things assume too melancholy or too cheerful an appearance through our own error? But if fools find this error lessened by time, so that, though the cause remains the same, they are not affected in the ...
— The Academic Questions • M. T. Cicero

... the rarest of fossils, due, no doubt, to their aerial habits removing them from the ordinary dangers of flood, bog, or ice which overwhelm mammals and reptiles, and also to their small specific gravity which keeps them floating on the surface of water till devoured. Their remains were long confined to Tertiary deposits, where many living genera and a few extinct forms have been found. ...
— Darwinism (1889) • Alfred Russel Wallace

... afresh, "is not where your generous services can reach him. Two brave chiefs, one a kinsman of my own, and the other his friend, are now colleagued to free him. If they fail, my whole house falls in blood! and to add another victim to the destiny which in that case will overwhelm me-the thought is beyond my strength." Faint with agitation, and the horrible images which reawakened her direst fears, she stopped; and then added in a suppressed ...
— The Scottish Chiefs • Miss Jane Porter

... opened with the din of preparation throughout America for defensive war. It now was found that vigorous measures must be pursued to oppose the torrent which was preparing to overwhelm the colonies, which had now been dissevered from the British empire, by the declaration of independence. The continental army was now raising, and great numbers of American youth volunteered in the service of their country. A large army of reinforcements ...
— Alonzo and Melissa - The Unfeeling Father • Daniel Jackson, Jr.

... again alone, sat down at a turn in the path, just out of sight of the house, and waited. Soon she saw, with a certain grim satisfaction, Zora and Bles emerging from the swamp engaged in earnest conversation. Here was an opportunity to overwhelm both with an unforgettable reprimand. She rose before them ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... charge thee wait upon me whilst I live, To do whatever Faustus shall command, Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere, Or the ocean to overwhelm the world. ...
— Dr. Faustus • Christopher Marlowe

... free the world from the terrible oppression. Wars on wars were waged; provinces on provinces were deluged with blood; coalitions, bound by sacred oaths, were formed against the giant tyranny. And yet the hierarchy managed to maintain its assumptions and to overwhelm all remedial attempts. Whether made by individuals or secular powers, by councils or governments, the result was the same. The Pontificate still triumphed, with its claims unabridged, its dominion unbroken, ...
— Luther and the Reformation: - The Life-Springs of Our Liberties • Joseph A. Seiss

... possible that a woman who is a mother could cease to be that in the first place and become a friend, first of all a sympathiser in the very difficulties that overwhelm her son, that miracle was accomplished then. The woman whom she had with difficulty accepted as Theo's future wife became, for a moment, nearer to her in this flood of sympathy than Theo himself. The woman's pangs and hindrances were closer to her ...
— A Country Gentleman and his Family • Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

... emphasis placed on this one, so that Bauer knew that the Douglas family, outside of the editor himself and Walter, were not associating him with an event which left him alone in the world to bear a disgrace that seemed at times to overwhelm him. ...
— The High Calling • Charles M. Sheldon

... come often, in my less hopeful moods, to watch the remorseless cataract of daily literature which thunders over the remnants of the past, as if it were a fresh impediment to the men of our day in the way of systematic knowledge and consistent powers of thought, as if it were destined one day to overwhelm the great inheritance of mankind in prose ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... used was also a small one; their opportunities for hiding were consequently reduced; the chances of their emplacement being immediately spotted from the fortress were correspondingly high, and the big gun in the fortress was pretty certain to overwhelm the majority of them at least. It is evident that the circumference {GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER GAMMA} offers far more chances of hiding than the circumference ABC, but a still more powerful factor in favour of the new ...
— A General Sketch of the European War - The First Phase • Hilaire Belloc

... be guided by my father," he conceded. "But don't overwhelm me so much, please. My emotions at this moment are much too ...
— Cleo The Magnificent - The Muse of the Real • Louis Zangwill

... into Bohemia. Prague was the King's first mark; but the ulterior object was probably Vienna. At Prague lay Marshal Brown with one great army. Daun, the most cautious and fortunate of the Austrian captains, was advancing with another. Frederic determined to overwhelm Brown before Daun should arrive. On the sixth of May was fought, under those walls which, a hundred and thirty years before, had witnessed the victory of the Catholic league and the flight of the unhappy Palatine, a battle more bloody than any which Europe saw during the long interval between ...
— Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... Jennings's pace, was always tiring, as Rose knew to her cost, but also by the turmoil of spirit she had been in. All the toils, disappointments, and drudgery of the life which lay before her seemed suddenly to press upon her and overwhelm her, and before she knew what she was doing she was sobbing behind her handkerchief. She had one grain of sense left, she turned her back; but her heaving shoulders and the muffled sound of a "good cry" were not hidden from ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... than a too ready compliance with any inclination of the mind, whether it be lustful or of an irascible nature. Either transports us on the least check into wicked extravagancies, which are fatal in their consequences, and suddenly overwhelm us with both shame and ruin. There is hardly a page in any of these volumes, but carries in it examples which are so many strong proofs of the veracity of this observation. But with respect to the criminal we are now speaking of, he is a yet more extraordinary case than any of the rest; and ...
— Lives Of The Most Remarkable Criminals Who have been Condemned and Executed for Murder, the Highway, Housebreaking, Street Robberies, Coining or other offences • Arthur L. Hayward

... a foreign resident of Paris is apt to find very enjoyable in Brussels, and that is the absence of the eternal crowd that mars for many people a full enjoyment of the pleasant places of Paris. Her thronging millions overwhelm you on every festive day or joyous occasion. Any little outside show or attraction calls together in some restricted space the population of a small city. Thirty thousand people rushed to hear the Spanish students play on the guitar ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878. • Various

... maternal heart was oppressed when thou beheldest with thy pure eyes that fair face so piteously marred, so that there was no beauty in it, and nothing by which He could be distinguished. How did the wave of affliction beat against and overflow and overwhelm thy soul! Truly, if even a devout man cannot without unspeakable sorrow and pity revolve in his mind the Passion of thy Son, what must have been thy Cross, thy affliction, who wast His mother and sawest it all with thine eyes? If to many friends ...
— Light, Life, and Love • W. R. Inge

... of Blentz hastened toward the gate, pausing for an instant to overwhelm Butzow. In the fierce scrimmage that followed the lieutenant was overthrown, though not before his sword had passed through the heart of the rat-faced one. Deserting their fallen comrade the two dashed through the gate, where to their immense relief they found Leopold ...
— The Mad King • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... unique there! The others overwhelm me with requests; their laboratories are never well enough supplied. And you, poor as you ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... unperceived by the mate, and was now on deck in high glee at his freedom from maternal thraldom, watching the battle of the elements and the struggle of the ship against the supremacy of the wind and waves, that were vying with each other to overwhelm her. ...
— The Wreck of the Nancy Bell - Cast Away on Kerguelen Land • J. C. Hutcheson

... realise how deeply Fielding felt the pain of such struggles when falling upon "the best, the worthiest and the noblest of women" we need but turn again to his own pages. If, cries Amelia's husband, when his distresses overwhelm him, "if I was to suffer alone, I think I could bear them with some philosophy"; and again "this was the first time I had ever felt that distress which arises from the want of money; a distress very dreadful indeed in ...
— Henry Fielding: A Memoir • G. M. Godden

... in degree sheathed against the deep sorrows, and am enabled not to look so much at them; but there are also times when secondary things arise, such as parting with servants, schools, the poor around us, and our dear home. These things overwhelm me; indeed, I think naturally I have a very acute sense of the sorrow. Then the bright side of the picture arises. I have found such help and strength in prayer to God, and highly mysterious as this dispensation may be in some points of view, yet I think I have frequently, if not ...
— Elizabeth Fry • Mrs. E. R. Pitman

... between Longstreet and Jackson. Ricketts was thus forced to yield the gap after having delayed Longstreet during the night of the 28th. Pope could now have retired to Washington without a battle, but he decided to overwhelm Jackson before Longstreet could reach the field, and attacked hotly on ...
— Who Goes There? • Blackwood Ketcham Benson

... the head No hat, but an iron pot instead, And under the chin the bail,— I believe they called the thing a helm; And the lid they carried they called a shield; And, thus accoutred, they took the field, Sallying forth to overwhelm The dragons and pagans that plagued the realm:— So this modern knight Prepared for flight, Put on his wings and strapped them tight; Jointed and jaunty, strong and light; Buckled them fast to shoulder and hip,— Ten feet they measured from tip to tip! And a helm had he, but ...
— Poems Teachers Ask For • Various

... were surrounded by an ocean of trees, so vast, so full of endless billows, that it seemed to be pressing on every side to overwhelm them. Gnarled oaks, with branches twisted and knotted as if in rage, rose in groves like tidal waves. Smooth forests of beech-trees, round and gray, swept over the knolls and slopes of land in a mighty ground-swell. But most of all, ...
— The Blue Flower, and Others • Henry van Dyke



Words linked to "Overwhelm" :   overtake, clutch, lock, sweep over, vanquish, whelm, overcome, drown, overmaster, get hold of, steamroller, deluge, benight, beat out, enkindle, crush, shell, devastate, burden, saddle, knock out, evoke, flood out, kindle, seize, submerge, fire, trounce, arouse, provoke, kill, overpower, beat



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