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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Whelm \Whelm\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Whelmed; p. pr. & vb. n. Whelming.] [OE. whelmen to turn over, akin to OE. whelven, AS. whelfan, hwylfan, in ?whylfan, ?whelfan, to overwhelm, cover over; akin to OS. bihwelbian, D. welven to arch, G. w["o]lben, OHG. welben, Icel. hvelfa to overturn; cf. Gr. ? bosom, a hollow, a gulf.]

  1. To cover with water or other fluid; to cover by immersion in something that envelops on all sides; to overwhelm; to ingulf.

    She is my prize, or ocean whelm them all!

    The whelming billow and the faithless oar.

  2. Fig.: To cover completely, as if with water; to immerse; to overcome; as, to whelm one in sorrows. ``The whelming weight of crime.''
    --J. H. Newman.

  3. To throw (something) over a thing so as to cover it. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 14c., probably from a parallel form of Old English -hwielfan (West Saxon), -hwelfan (Mercian), in ahwelfan "cover over;" probably altered by association with Old English helmian "to cover," from Proto-Germanic *hwalbjan, from PIE *kwelp- "to arch" (see gulf (n.)).


vb. To cover; to submerge; to engulf; to bury.


v. overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli [syn: overwhelm, overpower, sweep over, overcome, overtake]

Whelm (album)

Whelm is the debut studio album by English singer Douglas Dare. It was released in May 2014 under Erased Tapes Records.

Usage examples of "whelm".

In this hole in the sand, some three feet under ground, we stood side by side, cramped and huddled, struck suddenly with an over whelming apprehension of something ancient, something formidable, something incalculably wonderful, that touched in each one of us a sense of the sublime and the terrible even before we could see an inch before our faces.

With a patience no world-born man could fathom, he slowly lured her into the trance the Dunyain called the Whelming, to the place where voice could overwrite voice.

He was outraged, scandalized, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, and finally whelmed.

With a shriek of rage and fear that her happiness was to be snatched away from her once more, leiridauna hurled herself from the forehall up the stairs to the office, whelming the protective magics of the house around her like a cloak of magic, armor and weapon both against this dark intruder.

To tell the truth, at the time I was so completely over-- whelmed by it as to be unable to grasp, in the least degree, what significance it had for me.

Whelm: The chair recognizes Senator Bourse, of the Imperial Democratic Party.

With too few warriors and no one to lead them against the whelmed might of two baronies, Bros•tos was doomed.

It may be That, with a haughty and unwavering faith In their own battering-rams of argument, They deemed our buoyance whelmed, and sapped, and sunk To our hope's sheer bottom, whence a miracle Was all could friend and float us.

The fierceness seemed all to drop away from him, whelmed in the immensity of his astonishment.

Well-armed forces had indeed been whelmed by many nobles and now awaited the king's pleasure near Jester's Green under the command of Battlemaster Haliver Ilnbright, an old, grizzled Purple Dragon respected by many nobles who'd fought alongside him down the years.

And everywhere on Mithgar, Elves were whelmed unto their knees, all Elves upon Mithgar without exception, stunned by the disembodied deathcry of hundreds and hundreds of their kindred in the moment of their dying, their passing like a ghastly wind blowing chill through the very souls of all Elvenkind.

Yet as they passed through the Dalgor March, unexpected fog rolled o'er them, and Foul Folk rose up out from the clutches of the fen and whelmed into them.

Raulin's little rumor preceded us to that last tavern, and I'd like to be settled in again before whelmed warbands start dropping swords-first into our laps looking for Dwaer.

Thinking themselves safe with the hastily whelmed forces of Brostos massed between them and the brigand army of Bloodblade, the red-cloaked knights of Maerlin were still fetching out their best blades and brightest armor when barges grated against their docks and the warriors of Bloodblade stormed ashore, spitting everything that moved on their spears—and greeting the indignantly charging knights with volleys of heavy crossbow quarrels, whistling storms of death that slew hundreds in the space of a few breaths.

Blackgult had whelmed a few hundred men from the fragments of his own old baronial forces—but if the news that Bloodblade had taken Maerlin was true, that meant the Regent of Aglirta commanded just enough men to guard the stables of Castle Maerlin, and keep safe the horses of the would-be usurper.