Etymology
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whelm (v.)

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 *kuolp- "to bend, turn" (see gulf (n.)).

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Definitions of whelm

whelm (v.)
overcome, as with emotions or perceptual stimuli;
Synonyms: overwhelm / overpower / sweep over / overcome / overtake
From wordnet.princeton.edu