wash over

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wash over (someone or something)

1. Of a liquid, to pass over and cover someone or something. Waves from the tsunami completely washed over the small island nation. Let the soapy water wash over the pavement to clear away some of this gunk.
2. To engulf, overwhelm, or envelop a person, group, or population of people, especially very quickly or suddenly. Usually said in reference to intense emotions or feelings. As the sun began to rise over the horizon, a deep sense of calm and well-being washed over me. Intense anger washed over the country when the truth of what really happened was made public. A wave of profound goodwill has washed over the community and motivated everyone to pitch in and help.
3. To be noticed, heard, or understood by someone or some group without any appreciable emotional effect. Usually said in reference to some news or revelation that would normally be considered emotionally powerful or moving. When I received word of my father's death, the news at first washed over me like a cool breeze. Like so many scandals before it, this one will spark outrage for a day or two before washing over the country as if nothing had ever happened.
See also: over, wash
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

wash over someone

Fig. [for a powerful feeling] to flood over a person. A feeling of nausea washed over me. A strong feeling of satisfaction washed over me.
See also: over, wash
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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