The Meaning of Deluge: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of deluge? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word deluge, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What does the word deluge mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other dictionaries like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word deluge can be used as a noun or a verb. As a noun, a deluge refers to an overflowing by water, a drenching rain, or in a figurative sense, something in an overwhelming amount or number. Deluge can also be used as a transitive verb meaning to overwhelm or swamp, whether with water or figuratively. One can add the suffixes ed and ing to create deluged and deluging. Deluge is two syllables – del-uge, and the pronunciation of deluge is ˈdel-ˌyüj. This was originally used to refer to Noah’s flood in the book of Genesis in the Bible. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today to memorize its definition! 

Many different languages all lose. You may notice that a lot of these translations of deluge look similar to the word deluge. These are called cognates, which are often formed when words have the same language of origin or a shared root. List of translations for the word deluge is provided by Word Sense

  •  Portuguese: dilúvio‎ (masc.)
  •  Esperanto: diluvo‎
  •  Latin: abluvium‎ (neut.)
  •  French: déluge‎
  •  Spanish: diluvio‎ (masc.)
  •  Catalan: diluvi‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: пото́п‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: tulva‎, vedenpaisumus‎
  •  Scottish Gaelic: tuil‎ (fem.)
  •  Bulgarian: потоп‎ (masc.)
  •  Italian: diluvio‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: störtflod‎
  •  Polish: potop‎ (masc.)
  •  Ido: diluvio‎

What is the origin of the word deluge?

According to Etymonline, the word deluge has been used as a noun since the late 14c Middle English and as a verb since the 1590s. As a noun it was originally used to refer to Noah’s flood in Genesis. This comes from the 12c Old French deluge and the earlier deluge, from the Latin diluvium or Latin dīluvium meaning flood or inundation. This comes from the Latin diluere or dīluere meaning to wash away, which is there we get the related word dilute. This comes from the prefix dis meaning not and the root luere, a combining form of lavere meaning to wash, from the Proto-Indo-European root leue meaning to wash. Deluge has been used in a figurative sense since the early 15c. Louis XV coined the phrase “after me the deluge,” or French “après moi le déluge” expressing his indifference to  the results of his policy of selfish and reckless extravagance.

How can the word deluge be used in a sentence?

The word deluge can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes for yourself to test your knowledge. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today. Below are several examples of deluge. 

The deluge of torrential rain from the storm flooded the basement of the home. These annual inundations were a natural phenomenon, but they didn’t usually make the basement look like the days of Noah.

The company got a deluge of requests for new pens after they went viral on TikTok. They had to halt orders just to catch up with the overwhelming number of orders.

The great deluge on the northern nations was like Noah’s flood. The overflowing of the land from the universal deluge led to less crops for farmers, and the composition of the soil was permanently changed.

A deluge of sound came out the speakers at the rock concert, and there was a flood of requests to fix the screechy sound system before the concert continued.

The social worker was shocked to find the torrent of abuse present in the foster home. She realized there has been a deluge of complaints from the children who stayed at the home, but her colleagues had never looked into it. She felt awful about what the children had been through. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of deluge?

There are numerous different words and phrases that can be used in place of the word deluge. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definition as a given word or phrase. Learning synonyms can help to expand your vocabulary and avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word deluge is provided by Thesaurus and Webster.

  • oversufficiency
  •  spate
  •  rain
  •  market
  •  irrigation
  •  teem
  •  dip
  •  mob
  •  swamp
  •  flood
  •  rabble
  •  enough
  •  engulfment
  •  merge
  •  spillage
  •  army
  •  cataract
  •  spill
  •  overabundance
  •  stream
  •  overbrim
  •  waterflood
  •  scud
  •  heavy
  •  spattering
  •  plunge
  •  aspersion
  •  river
  •  humidification
  •  legion
  •  galaxy
  •  flush
  •  bath
  •  richesses
  •  flooding
  •  oversupply
  •  sparging
  •  gush
  •  water
  •  plash
  •  than
  •  drench
  •  overprovision
  •  aspergation
  •  embarrass
  •  mass
  •  submerse
  •  watering
  •  affusion
  •  cluster
  •  whelm
  •  rainstorm
  •  cataclysm
  •  overlavishness
  •  cloudburst
  •  rinsing
  •  extravagance
  •  engulf
  •  baptism
  •  wetting
  •  soaker
  •  landslide
  •  float
  • overaccumulation
  •  crush
  •  overfurnish
  •  splattering
  •  pour
  •  whelming
  •  laving
  •  overrunning
  •  multitude
  •  lavishness
  •  downfall
  •  overprofusion
  •  overmuchness
  •  rainburst
  •  drencher
  •  alluvion
  •  sop
  •  money
  •  submerge
  •  waterspout
  •  abound
  •  horde
  •  inundate
  •  sweep
  •  splashing
  •  rout
  •  over
  •  soak
  •  overstock
  •  cohue
  •  superflux
  •  moistening
  •  downpour
  •  bedewing
  •  gushing
  •  avalanche
  •  superabundance
  •  more
  •  bury
  •  torrent
  •  plethora
  •  heap
  •  overcopiousness
  •  freshet
  •  submersion
  •  panoply
  •  washout
  •  down
  •  overplenty
  •  burst
  •  damping
  •  overlavish
  •  prodigality
  •  overplentifulness
  •  plenty
  •  immerse
  •  duck
  •  douse
  •  flock
  •  overequip
  •  oversell
  •  flow
  •  Niagara
  •  soaking
  •  spout
  •  throng
  • overnumerousness
  •  slosh
  •  overluxuriance
  •  dampening
  •  overdose
  •  jam
  •  sluice
  •  drown
  •  overflowing
  •  extravagancy
  •  with
  •  prodigal
  •  press
  •  sink
  •  wet
  •  spraying
  •  inundation
  •  overpopulation
  •  immerge
  •  cascade
  •  overmeasure
  •  host
  •  overcome
  •  baptize
  •  flux
  •  immersion
  •  burn
  •  sprinkling
  •  hosing
  •  rainspout
  •  alluvium
  •  overrun
  •  crowd
  •  overprovide
  •  dewing
  •  slop
  •  brash
  •  dunk
  •  drowning
  •  overprovender
  •  souse
  •  ruck
  •  swashing
  •  overwhelm
  • overbounteousness
  •  downflow
  •  bathing
  •  redundancy

There are also different words and phrases that mean the opposite of deluge; these opposite words are called antonyms. Learning antonyms is another easy way to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the word deluge is also provided by Thesaurus.

  •  lack
  •  aridity
  •  deficiency
  •  dry spell
  •  dryness
  •  rainlessness
  •  drought
  •  parchedness
  •  desiccation
  •  need
  •  dehydration
  •  dearth
  •  want
  •  scarcity
  •  insufficiency

Overall, the word deluge means either a great flood or overflowing of water, such as the rising of a body of water over dry land in the time of Noah due to the wickedness of human beings, or a figurative overwhelming. This word has been used since c14 to refer to heavy rain or to be overrun by something and is of Indo-European roots.


  1. DELUGE Synonyms: 53 Synonyms & Antonyms for DELUGE | Thesaurus 
  2. DROUGHT Synonyms: 20 Synonyms & Antonyms for DROUGHT | Thesaurus 
  3. eluge: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  4. deluge | Origin and meaning of deluge | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Deluge | Definition of Deluge | Merriam-Webster 
  6. Deluge | Definition of Deluge | Webster’s Online Dictionary