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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



... was called out by several of them, in order to make Michel rush back, which he did instantly at the exciting sound, ready to overwhelm the hugest men ...
— Tancred - Or, The New Crusade • Benjamin Disraeli

... dangerous in our conduct through human life, 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 ...
— 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

... without escape. And now to right and left broad Pontus was seen, when suddenly a huge wave rose up before them, arched, like a steep rock; and at the sight they bowed with bended heads. For it seemed about to leap down upon the ship's whole length and to overwhelm them. But Tiphys was quick to ease the ship as she laboured with the oars; and in all its mass the wave rolled away beneath the keel, and at the stern it raised Argo herself and drew her far away from the rocks; and high in air was she borne. But ...
— The Argonautica • Apollonius Rhodius

... when the ball struck her, as a sickening terror lest her sex should be discovered. The pain of the wound was scarcely felt in her excitement and alarm, even death on the battle-field she felt would be preferable to the shame that would overwhelm her in case the mystery of her life were unveiled. Her secret, however, remained undiscovered, and, recovering from her wound, she was soon able again to take her place ...
— Woman on the American Frontier • William Worthington Fowler

... of the old fisherman's, and the solitude which threatened to overwhelm the knight in all the halls and galleries of the desolate castle, after Bertalda's departure, brought out the feelings that had slumbered till now and which had been wholly forgotten in his sorrow for Undine; namely, Huldbrand's affection for the beautiful ...
— Undine - I • Friedrich de la Motte Fouque

... lust, by malignant spite, and by insane anger. Their 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 misconduct which slavery ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... The violence and variableness of the wind soon raised a very rough and cross sea, which frequently broke over us, making every thing fly from side to side, and producing the greatest disorder. All this time I was in a small moveable bed-place on deck, expecting every instant that the sea would overwhelm us, and wash me and my bed-place overboard, for I was in no danger of being washed out of my bed, as it required no little management to emerge from it at pleasure. This berth of mine was commonly called a doghouse ...
— A Voyage Round the World, Vol. I (of ?) • James Holman

... professor, prolonging the interjection, and trying to suppress the smile which had a sad tendency to overwhelm his dignity. ...
— Dikes and Ditches - Young America in Holland and Belguim • Oliver Optic

... "Indeed you overwhelm me, sirs," said she, smiling. "Your impatience shall be satisfied, you shall passion and languish no longer!" And now as I bowed above her hand came her whisper, "I go to sing for ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... of February 1838 Rosalie, who was eagerly courted by many young men, achieved the purpose which had brought her to Paris. This was to meet the Duchesse de Rhetore, to see this wonderful woman, and to overwhelm her with perennial remorse. Rosalie gave herself up to the most bewildering elegance and vanities in order to face the Duchess ...
— Albert Savarus • Honore de Balzac

... and others declared that if they could only get on shore, they would never come on the water again. Stevenson made his way on deck and looked around. The billows seemed to be ten or fifteen feet high, and each appeared as if about to overwhelm the ship. One man, a black, lashed himself to the foremast, and kept watch in case the ship should break loose from her moorings. The next morning the sun rose and the gale abated, but the sea was still ...
— Grace Darling - Heroine of the Farne Islands • Eva Hope

... into the stream at its source three drops of holy water, for him, and for him only, the river shall turn to gold. But no one failing in his first can succeed in a second attempt; and if any one shall cast unholy water into the river it will overwhelm him, and he will become a black stone." So saying, the King of the Golden River turned away and deliberately walked into the center of the hottest flame of the furnace. His figure became red, white, transparent, dazzling,—a blaze of intense light,—rose, ...
— Types of Children's Literature • Edited by Walter Barnes

... of the human mind, this speech cost Cosmo nearly all the advantage that he had previously gained. His ominous suggestion of a great nebula rushing out of the heavens to overwhelm the earth had immensely impressed the imagination of his hearers, and his uncontradicted accusation that Professor Pludder was concealing the facts had almost convinced them that he was right. But when he mentioned "arks," the strain was relieved, and a smile broke ...
— The Second Deluge • Garrett P. Serviss

... 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 ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... freed herself from the crowd and comes forward). Remain I cannot—spirits chase me forth! The organ's pealing tones like thunder sound, The dome's arched roof threatens to overwhelm me! I must escape and seek heaven's wide expanse! I left my banner in the sanctuary, Never, oh, never, will I touch it more! It seemed to me as if I had beheld My sisters pass before me like a dream. 'Twas only a delusion!—they, alas! Are far, ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... of thought teemed through his brain as he rode. Now he would fall into a sweat of panic as fantastic specters of hideous possibilities arose and confronted him, now only a world of grief would overwhelm him. Again a passion of jealousy would drive him to the verge of madness, only to be followed swiftly by that lurking self-pity which robbed him of the wholesome human instincts inspired by the spirit of battle in affairs of life. Then would come that overwhelming ...
— The Law-Breakers • Ridgwell Cullum

... and you will find that the tonnage of the United Kingdom, to which the reciprocity treaties apply, have increased considerably under one-half, while the trade to which they did not apply has more than trebled its tonnage. To overwhelm the defalcations in the British trade with the reciprocity states, by the extended or more prosperous state of the general trade, was both unfair and disingenuous. Yet, this has Mr. Labouchere not a moment hesitated to do. Knowing, ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... a port with all expedition. With this view, and favored by the wind, a course was shaped for Lochswilly, and away we scudded under close-reefed foresail and main-topsail, followed by a tremendous sea, which threatened every moment to overwhelm us, and accompanied by piercing showers of hail, and a gale which blew with incredible fury. The same course was steered until next day about noon, when land was seen on the lee-bow. The weather being thick, some time elapsed before it could be distinctly ...
— Thrilling Adventures by Land and Sea • James O. Brayman

... and genial sky of Edinburgh united with, the sacred and exhilarating interests of the Gospel to arouse all that was noble, and divine in every heart. The Moderator reverently led the Assembly in prayer and constituted the court most solemnly in the name of Jesus Christ. Such a prayer should overwhelm the soul with God's presence, burden the conscience with responsibilities, make the spiritual world dreadfully visible, and bring God's servants close to ...
— Sketches of the Covenanters • J. C. McFeeters

... much. "If the pot boils," says the proverb, "take it off the fire." A little care, a word swallowed, a rising sentence struck down in us by a simple rule, may save us humiliation. "By reflection, by restraint and control a wise man can make himself an island which no floods can overwhelm. He who is tolerant with the intolerant, mild with the fault-finders, and free from passion with the passionate, him I indeed ...
— Life and Conduct • J. Cameron Lees

... I had now an inkling of what I had to expect, I found myself received with a kindness which bade fair to overwhelm me. Only M. de Rosny was in the room, and he took me by both hands in a manner which told me without a word that the Rosny of old days was back, and that; for the embarrassment I had caused him of late I was more than ...
— A Gentleman of France • Stanley Weyman

... end of the street all progress seems about to be checked by the almost vertical face of the escarpment. Into it your track apparently runs point-blank: a confronting mass which, if it were to slip down, would overwhelm the whole town. But in a moment you find that the road, the old Roman highway into the peninsula, turns at a sharp angle when it reaches the base of the scarp, and ascends in the stiffest of inclines ...
— The Well-Beloved • Thomas Hardy

... soon as she had seized the significance of Monjardin's verses, had grown deathly pale; stricken by sudden disillusionment, she felt a glacial chill overwhelm her body to the very marrow; she feared that she would faint straightway and provide a spectacle for the guests, who were all drinking her health, their eyes focussed upon her. A veil of tears spread before her sight.... ...
— Brazilian Tales • Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

... however of the mystery they contained, did not suffice to overwhelm my courage. My mind seemed to undergo an entire revolution. Timid and embarrassed as I had felt myself, when I regarded Mr. Falkland as my clandestine and domestic foe, I now conceived that the case was entirely altered. "Meet ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... Persian fleet, manned by Phoenician sailors, and a huge army, under the two satraps Datis and Artaphernes, were on the opposite side of the AEgean Sea, ready to overwhelm little Attica first, and then all Greece. Nobody had yet stood firm against those all-conquering Persians, and as they came from island to island the inhabitants fled or submitted. Attica was so small as to have only 9000 fighting men to meet this host. They sent to ask the aid of the Spartans, ...
— Aunt Charlotte's Stories of Greek History • Charlotte M. Yonge

... along, a Wilton carpet. It seemed to be his pleasure to taunt the opposition to enforce an angry or irritable reply, and then to launch the arrows of his biting wit and sarcasm at whoever dared the response, in such rapid profusion, as to astonish the House, and overwhelm ...
— The Memories of Fifty Years • William H. Sparks

... It was you who poisoned Mr. Stewart's mind against me. It was you who stole my sweet sister away from me. Did this content you? No. You must drive the good old gentleman into paralysis and illness unto death—out of his mind—and you must overwhelm the poor, gentle girl with drunken brutality and cruelty, and to cap all, with desertion. And this is not enough—my God! think of it! this is not enough!—but you must come with the others to force Indian war upon our ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... thousand of his best troops. The second campaign resolved itself into the siege and defense of Anshu, an important town near the Yaloo River. Gaisoowun raised an enormous force with the view of effecting its relief, and he attempted to overwhelm the Chinese by superior numbers. But the better discipline and tactics of the Chinese turned the day, and the Corean army was driven in rout from the field. But this signal success did not entail the surrender of Anshu, which was gallantly defended. ...
— China • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... other students, offended his eyes. When Wilhelm seated himself on his knee, and pressed his cheek to his, Otto felt his heart beat as in fever; it sent a stream of fire through his blood: he thrust him away, but the fair one continued to overwhelm him with caresses. ...
— O. T. - A Danish Romance • Hans Christian Andersen

... to that time. I reasoned, if we could make a breach anywhere near the rebel centre, and thrust in a strong head of column, that with the one moiety of our army we could hold in check the corresponding wing of the enemy, and with the other sweep in flank and overwhelm the other half. The 27th of June was fixed as the day for the attempt, and in order to oversee the whole, and to be in close communication with all parts of the army, I had a place cleared on the top of a hill to the rear of Thomas's centre, and had the telegraph-wires ...
— The Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman, Complete • William T. Sherman

... change the direction of the development of the anomaly during the time of germination. [398] The result of my attempt has shown that the choice of the seeds has a manifest influence upon the ultimate development of the monstrosity, but that this influence is not strong enough to overwhelm ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... No sooner was the storm over than another danger loomed up. The ship's crew included a number of renegade English sailors who conspired to mutiny, to overwhelm the officers, and to kill the crew and passengers. By including in their confidence an American sailor, whom they mistook for an Irishman, their plot came to naught. Lafayette summoned the whole crew, put thirty-three mutineers in chains, and thus ...
— Lafayette • Martha Foote Crow

... papers, that you have been shamefully mobbed at Fulton. I write to let you know that there are some in the world who will not join the multitude who are trying to overwhelm you ...
— The American Prejudice Against Color - An Authentic Narrative, Showing How Easily The Nation Got - Into An Uproar. • William G. Allen

... flapping of wings apprised them of the approach of Wieroos. Together they went to the edge of the wood and looked up to see five red-robed creatures dropping slowly in ever-lessening spirals toward their little amphitheater. With no attempt at concealment they came, sure of their ability to overwhelm these two fugitives, and with the fullest measure of self-confidence they landed in the clearing but a few yards from ...
— Out of Time's Abyss • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... Must one, indeed, pass in review once more, bucolic stupidity, commercial cunning, urban vulgarity, religious hypocrisy, political clap-trap, and all the raw disorder of our incipient civilization before the point will be conceded? What benefit is there in any such revision? rather it may overwhelm us with the magnitude of what we seek to do. Let us not dwell on it, on all the average civilized man still fails to achieve; admit his imperfection, and for the rest let us keep steadfastly before us that fair, alluring and reasonable conception of all that, ...
— Mankind in the Making • H. G. Wells

... images only of partial combustion; they vary and extend the conception, but they lower the thermometer. Look back, if you will, and add to the description the glimmering of the livid flames; the sulphurous hail and red lightning; yet altogether, however they overwhelm us with horror, fail of making us thoroughly, unendurably hot. The intense essence of flame has not been given. ...
— Modern Painters Volume II (of V) • John Ruskin

... This,—that he has laid his hands Like Samson on the pillars of our world, And one more trembling utterance such as this Will overwhelm us all. O, Campanella, You know that I am loyal to our faith, As Galileo too has always been. You know that I believe, as he believes, In the one Catholic Apostolic Church; Yet there are many times when ...
— Watchers of the Sky • Alfred Noyes

... left the shop, determined to overwhelm the unbeliever with proof, and put him to shame before his own soul, whence, I thought, would come even more good to him than to his son. For there was a great deal of self-satisfaction mixed up with the man's honesty, and the sooner that had a blow the ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... army. But,' I added, 'what 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, ...
— Hortense, Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... live? Let them live, but let us defend ourselves against their teeth and fangs. Are the overseers of God's people, in a world of shame, to be mere philosophical Gallios, indifferent to our higher interests? Is it a Christian duty to permit an avalanche of evils to overwhelm the Church on the plea of toleration? Shall we suffer, when we have the power to prevent it, a pandemonium of scoffers and infidels and sentimental casuists to run riot in the city which is intrusted to us to guard? Not thus will we be disloyal to ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume IV • John Lord

... have had, or now have, experiences which will furnish him resources for coping with the difficulty at hand. A difficulty is an indispensable stimulus to thinking, but not all difficulties call out thinking. Sometimes they overwhelm and submerge and discourage. The perplexing situation must be sufficiently like situations which have already been dealt with so that pupils will have some control of the meanings of handling it. A large part of the art of instruction lies in making the difficulty of new ...
— Democracy and Education • John Dewey

... morning Bea and Lila, silent and shy, had crowded with their two hundred classmates into chapel. The two friends sat side by side. Lila was in terror of making some horrible blunder that might overwhelm her with a vast indefinite disgrace. She leaned forward in the pew, the pencil trembling between her fingers, the blood pounding in her ears, while from the platform in front a cool voice read on evenly through page after page of names. And then at last the tragic despair of finding that ...
— Beatrice Leigh at College - A Story for Girls • Julia Augusta Schwartz

... during the gale of the first day. On the second night, those aboard her perceived that she was showing signs of weakness, and was likely to go down with all on board unless aid could be obtained. Not a sail, however, was in sight; and every wave seemed about to overwhelm or dash to pieces the frail craft. She labored heavily in the furious sea. By and by the strain on her timbers was such that the port hog-brace broke in two places, weakening the vessel so that her fate was apparent to all. Soldiers and sailors worked away with a frantic energy born ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 2 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... 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 ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... them to wait a little while. The ox was big enough and fat enough to nourish all the wolves in the world for many seasons. Let them wait, then, until another, greater wolf-pack joined them, that they might go hunting all together, overwhelm its present owners and devour the ox! So urged the "Heart of the Hills," speaking to the mountain wolves, according to ...
— King—of the Khyber Rifles • Talbot Mundy

... intolerable—simply intolerable? I know several such. All thoroughly prosperous people are a nuisance. That is a general proposition, and I stand by it. Go over your list of acquaintances and you will admit it is true. Here's to trouble! May it always chasten and never overwhelm us: our greatest bugbear and our best friend! It sifts our friends and unmasks our enemies. Like a lovely woman, ...
— Whispering Smith • Frank H. Spearman

... beginning to play, so that no one might enter unawares; and he told me afterwards that though he had naturally expected from the instrument a very fine tone, yet its actual merits so far exceeded his anticipations as entirely to overwhelm him. The sound issued from it in a volume of such depth and purity as to give an impression of the passages being chorded, or even of another violin being played at the same time. He had had, of course, no opportunity of practising during his illness, and so expected to find his ...
— The Lost Stradivarius • John Meade Falkner

... his visitor, lying down, and yet his demeanor revealed the self-possessed dignity of a high-born Roman, and the calm of a Stoic philosopher. He listened unmoved to the courtier, who, after the usual formal greetings, took upon himself to overwhelm the older man with the bitterest accusations and reproaches. People allowed themselves to take strange liberties with Caesar in this town, Theocritus burst out; insolent jests passed from lip to lip. An epigram against his sacred person had found its way into the Serapeum, his present ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... little figure behind the desk, but between the two lamps it swayed, and shrank and swelled. Of one thing only was he sure, that some grave disaster had overtaken him, something that when he came fully to his senses still would overwhelm him, something he could not conquer with his fists. His brain, even befuddled as it was, told him he had been caught by the heels, that he was in a trap, that smashing this boy who threatened him could not set him free. ...
— The Lost Road • Richard Harding Davis

... his father-in-law. But oftenest on his lips was the name of Halcyone. To her his thoughts cling. He prays that the waves may bear his body to her sight, and that it may receive burial at her hands. At length the waters overwhelm him, and he sinks. The Day-star looked dim that night. Since it could not leave the heavens, it shrouded ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... route he was sure to encounter Forrest, who always attacked with a vehemence for which he must be prepared, and that, after he had repelled the first attack, he must in turn assume the most determined offensive, overwhelm him and utterly destroy his whole force. I knew that Forrest could not have more than four thousand cavalry, and my own movement would give employment to every other man of the rebel army not immediately present with him, so ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... right," 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 to handle ...
— Ralph Granger's Fortunes • William Perry Brown

... 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 ...
— Saint Augustin • Louis Bertrand

... so much thought; the institutions they bequeathed to our times; yea, even those vices and follies which they originally despised, and which, if allowed to become dominant, must, according to all those laws of which we have cognizance, ultimately overwhelm any land in misery, ...
— The Old Roman World • John Lord

... southward; the more important contingent from Corfu must pass between him and Southern Italy in narrow seas where he could hardly fail to bring it to action, and if it fought, the chances were he would overwhelm it. Or he might attack it at Corfu, or drive it from the island back upon Venice. If he had good luck he might hope to be in time even after this to strike a blow ...
— Famous Sea Fights - From Salamis to Tsu-Shima • John Richard Hale

... British maritime supremacy. The great military machine of the French army was then turned eastward against the armies of the coalition which England, under Pitt, was forming; and in a series of astonishing campaigns it was used to beat down the Austrians in 1805 at Austerlitz; to overwhelm the Prussians in 1806 at Jena and Auerstadt; and to force the Russians, after {190} a severe winter campaign in East Prussia, to come to terms in 1807. Napoleon and the Tsar, Alexander, meeting on the bridge at Tilsit, July 7, divided Europe between them by agreeing upon a policy of spheres ...
— The Wars Between England and America • T. C. Smith

... loved Carleton because he heard and loved them. To have his great, kindly eyes fixed on some poor soldier, or neighbor in distress, was in itself a lightening of the load of trouble. Unlike those professional or volunteer comforters, who overwhelm by dumping a whole cart-load of condolence upon the sufferer, who is unable to resist or reply, Carleton was often great in his power of encouraging ...
— Charles Carleton Coffin - War Correspondent, Traveller, Author, and Statesman • William Elliot Griffis

... would try to concentrate his mind on the study or the writing to which he had been used so eagerly to turn, another thought that he had been keeping at bay by a conscious effort would rush at him again and overwhelm him. ...
— The Arbiter - A Novel • Lady F. E. E. Bell

... 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 ...
— Light, Life, and Love • W. R. Inge

... 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 in the very ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... 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 ...
— The Mad King • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... calm and beautiful, and as the guests left the ship, little did they think of the fearful doom that was so soon to overwhelm many of those whose hands they had clasped ...
— Narratives of Shipwrecks of the Royal Navy; between 1793 and 1849 • William O. S. Gilly

... darkness. We have constructed a pyramid, which throws into unspeakable contempt the vestiges of ancient Egyptian industry: but it stands upon its apex; it trembles with every breeze; and momentarily threatens to overwhelm in its ruins the fearless undertakers that ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... Solomon, with your inopportune mirth! What in God's name have I if I haven't hope? Take that from me and what would I be? Why, the very fate I have been fighting off with tooth and nail would overwhelm me. I'd sink into unimportance—my unparalleled misfortunes would degrade me to a level with the commonest! No, sir, I've never been without hope, and though I've fallen I've always got up. What Fentress has is based on money he stole from me. By God, the ...
— The Prodigal Judge • Vaughan Kester

... now I knew what it meant, for I am old and experienced, though this token is not often seen. I knew it, and a shuddering came upon me. Twice in my life I have seen the same thing; and I knew there would be an awful tempest, and a spring flood, which would overwhelm the poor people who were now drinking and dancing and rejoicing—young and old, the whole city had issued forth—who was to warn them, if no one saw what was coming yonder, or knew, as I did, what it meant? I was dreadfully alarmed, and felt more lively than I had done ...
— What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales • Hans Christian Andersen

... some of the national guards who had on that day demanded the custody of the interior posts, and who winking at this infraction of the orders,—to the skilful management of the Count de Fersen,—or that providence afforded a last ray of hope and safety to those whom she was so soon about to overwhelm with misfortunes, all the watchfulness of the guardians was in vain, and the Revolution suffered its prey for ...
— History of the Girondists, Volume I - Personal Memoirs of the Patriots of the French Revolution • Alphonse de Lamartine

... this he was baffled by a succession of heavy tempests, accompanied with such tremendous peals of thunder and floods of rain as are found only in the terrible storms of the tropics. The sea was lashed into fury, and, swelling into mountain billows, threatened every moment to overwhelm the crazy little bark, which opened at every seam. For ten days the unfortunate voyagers were tossed about by the pitiless elements, and it was only by incessant exertions—the exertions of despair—that they preserved the ship from foundering. To add to their calamities, their provisions ...
— History Of The Conquest Of Peru • William Hickling Prescott

... warm, ruddy glow of the setting sun was obscured by rising clouds, which they at once grasped were dust; a semi-darkness came on, and through this they had a glimpse of the mountain-side all in motion and threatening to overwhelm them where they stood. ...
— Fire Island - Being the Adventures of Uncertain Naturalists in an Unknown Track • G. Manville Fenn

... about yourself like a charming child, without any boasting or bragging. The world is awfully stupid! It adores well-bred egotism. We are all deeply inquisitive about people; and if you can reveal yourself without vanity, and are a lovable creature, the world will overwhelm you with love. You can't pay the world a greater compliment than to open your heart to it. You must not bore it, of course, nor must you seem to be demanding its applause. You must just seem to be in ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... nothing could calm or end, recommenced. He especially dreaded the darkness of the evening, the melancholy feeling of the twilight. Then a flood of sorrow invaded his heart, a torrent of despair, which seemed to overwhelm him and drive him mad. He was as frightened of his own thoughts as men are of criminals, and he fled before them as one does from wild beasts. Above all things he feared his empty, dark, horrible dwelling, and the deserted streets, in which, here and there, a gas lamp flickers, where the isolated ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... efface Whole villages of sand-roofed tents, That rise like golden domes Above the cavernous and secret homes Of wandering and nomadic tribes of ants. Ah, cruel little Tamerlane, Who, with thy dreadful reign, Dost persecute and overwhelm These hapless Troglodytes of thy realm! What! tired already! with those suppliant looks, And voice more beautiful than a poet's books, Or murmuring sound of water as it flows. Thou comest back to parley with repose; This ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... Duke of, intercession of Charles IX. with, in behalf of the Waldenses, or Vaudois, of Piedmont, ii. 390; collects an army to overwhelm ...
— History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2 • Henry Baird

... should not be a man if this womanly helplessness did not just give you a double attractiveness in my eyes. You must not think anymore about the hard things I said in my first moment of consternation, when I thought everything was going to overwhelm me. I have forgiven you, Nora; I swear to you I have ...
— A Doll's House • Henrik Ibsen

... with as much affection as if he had been her own child. Instantly there arose a shout of juvenile joy, and Stumpy could see, in the semi-darkness, that four little creatures were helping their mother to overwhelm his friend, while a fifth—a biggish girl—was prevented from joining them by the necessity that lay on her to take care of ...
— Personal Reminiscences in Book Making - and Some Short Stories • R.M. Ballantyne

... shall see you again: let one day more intervene, and—I cannot conclude the sentence. As I have written, the tumultuous happiness of hope has come over me to confuse and overwhelm everything else. At this moment my pulse riots with fever; the room swims before my eyes; everything is indistinct and jarring—a chaos of emotions. Oh! that happiness should ever have ...
— Falkland, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... fakir's shoulder-blades, the anxious fakir-worshipers were told that all was well. They were to let the white soldiers take two wagons, or three even, if they wanted them. They were to return to their houses at once, and hide, lest the devils who would shortly overwhelm the white men should make mistakes and include them, too, in the whelming. He, the fakir, intended to take the white men for a little journey along the road toward Jailpore, where the devils who would deal with them would have no opportunity to make mistakes. And, since the natives knew ...
— Told in the East • Talbot Mundy

... soon. A flash lit the black sky; a peal of thunder rattled like artillery far off; and then a squall struck the grab with terrific force, and the sea, suddenly lashed into fury, advanced like a cluster of green liquid mountains to overwhelm the vessel. She heeled bulwarks under, and was instantly wrapped in a dense mist, rain pouring in blinding sheets. The main topsail was blown away with a report like a gun shot; and then, under a reefed foresail, the grab ran before the ...
— In Clive's Command - A Story of the Fight for India • Herbert Strang

... and level road where no hills arise to obstruct the view. Each succeeding day marks an inch or so of progress toward the goal. But should we set the responsibilities of the bank president over against the powers of the child, the disparity would overwhelm our thinking and our minds would be thrown into confusion. Our thinking is level and easy only when we conceive of strength and responsibility advancing side by side ...
— The Reconstructed School • Francis B. Pearson

... could be 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 General Sketch of the European War - The First Phase • Hilaire Belloc

... the parcels distribution of the post-office and railways to elaborate a now very efficient private system of taking orders and delivering goods. Collectively these great businesses have been able to establish a sort of monopoly of suburban trade, to overwhelm the small suburban general tradesman (a fate that was inevitable for him in some way or other), and—which is a positive world-wide misfortune—to overwhelm also many highly specialized shops and dealers of the central district. Suburban people nowadays get their ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... second position; so I sent for the two reserve battalions, and ordered the cavalry to pass the river, and follow on our right flank the march of our columns. During this time the enemy had endeavored to overwhelm us on both sides. Major Becdelievre brought together what remained of his battalion, rushed upon the fusileers and forced them back into the wood whence they had come." These were splendid feats of arms. But the excessive inferiority ...
— Pius IX. And His Time • The Rev. AEneas MacDonell

... fate which seemed about to overwhelm him. Life had many charms in spite of the one disappointment, which had, rather given a gravity to his manner than in any way embittered his existence. He had hoped to do something in the world—his duty, at all events. He had many ...
— The Log House by the Lake - A Tale of Canada • William H. G. Kingston

... against the impending danger. The simple establishing of a front of two regiments toward the west when half his command would hardly have been sufficient, unless protected by works of some kind, was perfectly idle as a barrier against the torrent about to overwhelm the Eleventh Corps. So far as I can ascertain, only two companies were thrown out on picket, and they were unsupported by grand guards, so that they did not detain the enemy a moment, and the rebels and our pickets all came in together. Great stress has been laid upon the fact that Howard ...
— Chancellorsville and Gettysburg - Campaigns of the Civil War - VI • Abner Doubleday

... annoying with her "my dears" and her gossip the great ladies whose maids were richer and ate better than she and her daughter. If some old gentleman took refuge beside her, the diplomat's wife tried to overwhelm him with the majesty of her recollections. "When we were ambassadors in Stockholm." "When my ...
— Woman Triumphant - (La Maja Desnuda) • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... did not speak. Was it that he could not trust himself to words? But in that brief time, the thoughts which passed through his mind were such as to overwhelm him. A picture rose up before him: a picture of a man and woman leading their lives together, each happy in the other's love; not a love born of fancy, but a love based on comradeship and true understanding of the soul. ...
— Ships That Pass In The Night • Beatrice Harraden

... mind's eye in those early school days with that astounding picture,—a glittering wall of green crystal, anywhere from ten to one hundred feet in height, advancing on the land like the march of a mighty phalanx, as if to overwhelm and carry all before it! Had it not been our dream for years to go there, and prove to our everlasting satisfaction whether childish ...
— Over the Border: Acadia • Eliza Chase

... as smooth as glass; at others they curl over, leaving a milk-white foam, and their slopes are marbled with a beautiful spumy tracery. Very wonderful are these mottled waves: with a following sea, at one moment it seems impossible that the great mountain which is overtaking the ship will not overwhelm her, at another it appears inevitable that the ship will fall into the space over which she seems to be suspended and crash into the gulf ...
— The Worst Journey in the World, Volumes 1 and 2 - Antarctic 1910-1913 • Apsley Cherry-Garrard

... so monstrous that they carried with them their own refutation. It was too often the custom in the middle ages to overwhelm an enemy with incredible charges for it to be fair to accuse the enemies of Hubert of any excessive malignity. The substantial innocence of Hubert is clear, for the only charges brought against him were either errors of judgment and policy, or incredible ...
— The History of England - From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377) • T.F. Tout

... every living thing that the air and the seas bring forth and nourish, birds of the air and beasts of the field. But thou, and thy sons with thee, shall have mercy when the black waters, the dark, destroying floods, shall overwhelm the hosts of sinful men. Begin to build thee a ship, a mighty seahouse, and in it make abiding-room for many, and set a rightful place for every tribe of earth. Build floors within the ark, dividing it in stories. And thou shalt build it three hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide ...
— Codex Junius 11 • Unknown

... a half dozen in a day. The rough country came down close about them, edging to the very hair-line of the magic circle, which seemed to assure their placid sunny peace. An upheaval of splintered granite often tossed and tumbled in the abandon of an unrestrained passion that seemed irresistibly to overwhelm the sanities of a whole region; but somewhere, in the very forefront of turmoil, was like to slumber one of these little meadows, as unconscious of anything but its own flawless green simplicity as a child asleep in mid-ocean. Or, away up in ...
— The Mountains • Stewart Edward White

... cries the count, holding up both his hands in remonstrance; "you overwhelm me. I require no such inducements; they horrify me. Enrica Guinigi is sufficient in herself—so bright a jewel requires no ...
— The Italians • Frances Elliot

... snowy summits of the Sierra Nevada, dazzling sometimes under the sun and the blue sky, but more often veiled with mist and capped by heavy clouds, grim and terrifying, lent a sort of tragic interest to the scene; so that I felt those grey masses, with their cloak of white, (they seemed near enough to overwhelm one,) made it impossible for the town built at their very feet, to give ...
— The Land of The Blessed Virgin; Sketches and Impressions in Andalusia • William Somerset Maugham

... vessel—scarcely more than a foot in height." Thoreau felt the eerie strangeness of beach and sand dunes as all explorers have, and he noted, too, the characteristics of the sand and its vegetation and of the inhabitants with a humorous minuteness. Writing of the dunes, which seem always about to overwhelm Provincetown, he says, "Some say that while the Government is planting beach grass behind the town for the protection of the harbor, the inhabitants are rolling the sand into the harbor in wheel-barrows, in order to make houselots," which seems characteristic of the beach ...
— Old Plymouth Trails • Winthrop Packard

... and stood for the mouth of the harbour, though surrounded by foes. I, on board my little bark, the Judith, followed his example, firing at the treacherous Spaniards, who in their ships and boats endeavoured to overwhelm us. They succeeded too well with the rest of the squadron, all of which were captured and their crews butchered. This foul deed was done, although we had in no way offended the Spaniards. Your Majesty will doubtless see that we have ...
— Notable Voyagers - From Columbus to Nordenskiold • W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith

... other man of his day could have done. He broke the power of the Turk when he was coming to overwhelm Europe. From the blows inflicted by Hunyadi the Turk never thoroughly recovered; he has been frequently worsted in latter times, but none but Hunyadi could have routed the armies of Amurath and ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... had conquered the airships we dropped within a few hundred feet of the surface of the water and then turned our faces westward in order to follow the advance of the deluge and see whether, as we hoped, it would overwhelm our enemies in the very ...
— Edison's Conquest of Mars • Garrett Putnam Serviss

... she was abundantly supplied for all her future career. But that was not to be, the gate was still open, and the destructive influence of Greece was soon to send in a host of new deities, who were destined not only to overwhelm the old Roman gods—which in itself we might forgive—but to sap away the old Roman virtues, to the maintenance of which the atmosphere of these old gods was essential. The forerunner of this influence was in himself innocent enough, it was Apollo, and it is to his coming and the subsequent developments ...
— The Religion of Numa - And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome • Jesse Benedict Carter

... caught so infallibly, her will never failed her. Her voice was always dispassionate and tense, and perfectly confident. Yet she shuddered with a sense of nausea, a sort of seasickness that always threatened to overwhelm her mind. But her mind remained unbroken, her will was still perfect. It almost sent Birkin mad. But he would never, never dare to break her will, and let loose the maelstrom of her subconsciousness, and see her in her ultimate madness. Yet he was ...
— Women in Love • D. H. Lawrence

... up into the sky, and then down into the fearful depths below, where huge trees looked like tiny shrubs, and vast forests like black patches of heather on the earth, her heart stood still in her breast when she thought of the frightful fate that would overwhelm the Ariel and her crew should she fail to rise high enough to clear the ridge, or if anything went wrong with her machinery at the ...
— The Angel of the Revolution - A Tale of the Coming Terror • George Griffith

... was quite an army of the neighbors, from miles around, assembled. They were all evidently the friends of David. Every eye was fixed upon her. Every ear was listening to hear what she would say. Every tongue was itching to cry out shame to her opposition, and to overwhelm her with reproaches. For once the termagant found herself baffled, ...
— David Crockett: His Life and Adventures • John S. C. Abbott

... their own and their Country's Interests. The Article of Drinking is grown so immense, and at the same Time so general, that if some Fence is not provided for it soon, this Nation will be more in Danger from this Land-Flood, than the Dutch are from being overwhelm'd by the Ocean. What imbitters these Reflections the more is, that tho' all our Exports are the very Necessaries of Life, which we send off to Feed and Cloath other Nations, yet all our Imports, are the meer Superfluities of Luxury and Vanity, that keep our Natives naked and ...
— A Dialogue Between Dean Swift and Tho. Prior, Esq. • Anonymous

... and splashed against the conning tower. Down, down they dropped till only the periscope projected above the waves. Before them stretched the wide sweep of water, the ocean rising slowly but surely to overwhelm them. One after another the waves surged by. Now the eye of the periscope was so close to the crest of the water that it was only a matter of another moment until they would be under. Up, up, up came the water to meet them. Ted's heart was in ...
— The Brighton Boys with the Submarine Fleet • James R. Driscoll

... subjects of grace and not be destroyed by the wrath of God because of your sin. Therefore, if you let yourself be baptized, you give yourself over to gracious drowning and merciful slaying at the hands of your God, and say to him: Drown and overwhelm me, dear Lord, for gladly would I henceforth, with thy Son, be dead to sin, that I may, with him, also ...
— Epistle Sermons, Vol. III - Trinity Sunday to Advent • Martin Luther



Words linked to "Overwhelm" :   fire, knock out, steamroll, kindle, sweep over, flood out, elicit, deluge, saddle, submerge, clutch, crush, spread over, beat out, overpower, kill, benight, arouse, cover, enkindle, stagger, drown, burden, shell



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