What does the word overwhelm mean?

Usage examples for overwhelm

  1. He felt that his brief lease of life was running out; he felt as if he and Mary had been standing upon a narrow tract of yellow sand; very bright, very pleasant under the sunshine; but with the slow- coming tide rising like a wall about them, and creeping stealthily onward to overwhelm them. – John Marchmont's Legacy, Volume I (of 3) by Mary E. Braddon
  2. To us spectators, it seemed that they would overwhelm our own lines of battle. – Campaign of Battery D, First Rhode Island light artillery. by Ezra Knight Parker