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[drouz] /draʊz/
verb (used without object), drowsed, drowsing.
to be sleepy or half-asleep.
to be dull or sluggish.
verb (used with object), drowsed, drowsing.
to pass or spend (time) in drowsing (often followed by away):
He drowsed away the morning.
to make sleepy.
a sleepy condition; state of being half-asleep.
Origin of drowse
before 900; Old English drūsian to droop, become sluggish (not recorded in ME); akin to Old English drēosan to fall Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for drowse
Historical Examples
  • And then jest as I was gettin' into a drowse, I heard the cat in the buttery, and I got up to let her out.

  • Your days of hope are over, and you want to drowse by the fire.

    Northern Lights Gilbert Parker
  • The landscape seemed to be in drowse, half-sleeping and half-waking.

    A Spoil of Office Hamlin Garland
  • She was no sensualist, longing to drowse sleepily in the lap of luxury.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • Unceremoniously Stair Garland awaked Louis from his drowse in the cave's mouth.

    Patsy S. R. Crockett
  • Dot's head was pillowed on his knee, and presently she began to drowse.

    The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • Facing the chill blackness without the window, she tried to drowse off.

    Mountain Clement Wood
  • She had not slept, either; it was from her first drowse that Adeline had wakened her.

    The Quality of Mercy W. D. Howells
  • He dare not drowse, for he cannot tell at what moment the quarry may appear.

    Life in an Indian Outpost Gordon Casserly
  • Do they come when you are just drowsing, or just waking from a drowse?

    Between The Dark And The Daylight William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for drowse


to be or cause to be sleepy, dull, or sluggish
the state of being drowsy
Word Origin
C16: probably from Old English drūsian to sink; related to drēosan to fall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for drowse

1570s, probably a back-formation from drowsy. Old English had a similar word, but there is a 600-year gap. Related: Drowsed; drowsing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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