Definition of whelm in English:

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Pronunciation: /(h)welm/


[with object] archaic or literary
1Engulf, submerge, or bury (someone or something): a swimmer whelmed in a raging storm
More example sentences
  • All the faults of the Italian people are whelmed in forgiveness as soon as their music sounds under the Italian sky.
  • The envious billows sidelong well to whelm my track; let them; but first I pass.
1.1 [no object] Flow or heap up abundantly: the brook whelmed up from its source
More example sentences
  • The warmth whelms from the nearness of arms, backs, necks, breasts; not from fire.
  • Then, a golden light whelmed up from the earth and engulfed me.


archaic or literary
An act or instance of flowing or heaping up abundantly; a surge: the whelm of the tide
More example sentences
  • We'll retreat, but if I see your starship again, I'll blast you right out of the stars and into the fiery whelms of Hell!


Middle English: representing an Old English form parallel to hwelfan 'overturn (a vessel)'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: whelm

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