overwhelmed

vkv

Member
Bulgarian
The United States at times seemed overwhelmed throughout the 18 days of upheaval, fumbling to juggle its advocacy of democracy and the right to protest, its loyalty to longtime ally Mubarak and its fears Muslim fundamentalists could gain a foothold.

The Associated Press

Confounded? Perplexed?
 
Last edited:
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It probably means confused or (as you said) confounded.
    Overwhelmed
    can mean that too much information is coming in and it is impossible to cope with it. The events which unfolded in Egypt were too much for the US administration to take in and react to.
     

    vkv

    Member
    Bulgarian
    Thanks e2efour.

    I suppose the author used "overwhelmed" in the sence of to load, heap, treat, oraddress with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything. (to overwhelm someone with questions)


     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I noticed that you wrote perplexed which is one of the words given in my synonym book. I think it means the administration was at a loss what to do in view of its wish to support a democratic movement and the desire to maintain a stable situation in whatever circumstances. The difficulty of reconciling these two approaches meant that it acted cautiously since it could not be sure what the consequences of its actions would be.

    I think that overwhelmed is one of those words that dictionaries do not give adequate definitions of. You mentioned overpowering, which is relevant since you could say the administration was almost powerless to act in case it made matters worse or had the opposite effect of what it intended.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top