Feeling overwhelmed, like you're underwater? You might be experiencing a deluge — like when you've been given a deluge of homework over vacation: a dozen term papers, two dozen books to read, and a mile-high stack of math problems.

The noun deluge is an overwhelming amount of something in general, such as work, people, or questions. Because of its Latin roots, however, in particular it means an overwhelming amount of water. It comes from diluvian, which means flood. The verb deluge similarly means to overwhelm or inundate with something, particularly water. The hurricane deluged the island with rain. A deluge isn't always a bad thing, however. One thing most people would like to be deluged with? Money.

Definitions of deluge

n a heavy rain

cloudburst, downpour, pelter, soaker, torrent, waterspout
Type of:
rain, rainfall
water falling in drops from vapor condensed in the atmosphere

n the rising of a body of water and its overflowing onto normally dry land

alluvion, flood, inundation
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flooding caused by a tumultuous breakup of ice in a river during the spring or summer
flash flood, flashflood
a sudden local flood of great volume and short duration
Noachian deluge, Noah and the Flood, Noah's flood, the Flood
(Biblical) the great deluge that is said in the Book of Genesis to have occurred in the time of Noah; it was brought by God upon the earth because of the wickedness of human beings
a wall of water rushing ahead of the flood
Type of:
geological phenomenon
a natural phenomenon involving the structure or composition of the earth

n an overwhelming number or amount

flood, inundation, torrent
Type of:
batch, deal, flock, good deal, great deal, hatful, heap, lot, mass, mess, mickle, mint, mountain, muckle, passel, peck, pile, plenty, pot, quite a little, raft, sight, slew, spate, stack, tidy sum, wad
(often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent

v fill or cover completely, usually with water

inundate, submerge
Type of:
cover with liquid, usually water

v fill quickly beyond capacity; as with a liquid

flood, inundate, swamp
Type of:
fill, fill up, make full
make full, also in a metaphorical sense

v charge someone with too many tasks

flood out, overwhelm
Type of:
burden, charge, saddle
impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to

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