What do you think of phrase like "fear washed over me"?

Fear washed over me when I realized we were trapped.

Fear washed over me, sadness washed over me, his words washed over her, her warmth washed over him. It's hard not to roll my eyes when I read phrases like those. They aren't terrible but...they're not creative. Don't know if  "washed over" is considered a cliche. I did some research...or tried to, didn't find much.

I used that phrase often enough in the past. Now, I consult The Emotion Thesaurus to describe emotions without using "washed over."


There's nothing wrong with the phrase. When you're cold or warm, it does feel like the sensation washed over you. People can relate to that. Don't know why I even notice it. I think it's because I've come across it in nearly every book I've read recently.

What do you guys think of the phrase something "washed over me"?