Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 3 weeks ago

what's the meaning of "it washed over me."?


In a tv show, there was a man who got fired, had financial troubles, and his wife cheated on him.

He was in very bad circumstances,

then he said "it washed over me. i went numb."

I searched for "washed over me" and I found that it means: [for a powerful feeling] to flood over a person.

But how does this meaning consistent with "I went numb"?

what does "washed over me" mean?

5 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    gives a metaphorical idea of drowning, of being overwhelmed by events.  One response to way too much input is to shut down for a while, to become numb in a way.  It is sort of like how you can severely injure yourself and not feel anything for a while.  The system goes into shock, refuses to even deal with all the information.  It is just too much to handle.

    In effect, this guy is saying he was hit with a catastrophe and went into shock.  It is a pretty normal response.

  • Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    "numb" as in emotionally. he was stunned by it. as if it all "washed over him", like a wave of things all "attacking" him at once.

    it's poetic writing, and really just a bunch of mixed metaphors and poetic phrasings. try not to take it literally.

  • 3 weeks ago

    A strong emotion, especially a negative one, can make you go numb just as strongly spicy food can make your mouth go numb. 

  • 3 weeks ago

    He probably meant that he realized his situation; the realization washed over him. It would have been clearer if he'd said that it "sunk in" or that it hit him.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    It washed over him, and then he felt numb. The period separates the two feelings.

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