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verb (used with object)
  1. to wet thoroughly; soak.
  2. to saturate by immersion in a liquid; steep.
  3. to cover or fill completely; bathe: trees drenched with sunlight.
  4. Veterinary Medicine. to administer a draft of medicine to (an animal), especially by force: to drench a horse.
  5. Archaic. to cause to drink.
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  1. the act of drenching.
  2. something that drenches: a drench of rain.
  3. a preparation for drenching or steeping.
  4. a solution, especially one of fermenting bran, for drenching hides or skins.
  5. a large drink or draft.
  6. a draft of medicine, especially one administered to an animal by force.
  7. Horticulture. a mixture of pesticide and water applied to the soil surrounding a plant.
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Origin of drench

before 900; Middle English drenchen, Old English drencan, causative of drincan to drink; cognate with Dutch drenken, German tränken to water, give to drink
Related formsdrench·er, noundrench·ing·ly, adverbun·drenched, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See wet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for drench

Historical Examples

  • When I drench my insides with tea I sort of want it to take a hold.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Mix and boil down to one quart; when cool give it as a drench.

  • Dole sunlight into his room by degrees; and when he can bear it, drench him with it.

    A Simpleton

    Charles Reade

  • Where Molly and Sandy rode they were exposed to the first drench of a cloud-burst.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • Or are you, reader, one who delights to drench his mirth in tears?

British Dictionary definitions for drench


verb (tr)
  1. to make completely wet; soak
  2. to give liquid medicine to (an animal), esp by force
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  1. the act or an instance of drenching
  2. a dose of liquid medicine given to an animal
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Derived Formsdrencher, noundrenching, noun, adjective

Word Origin

Old English drencan to cause to drink; related to Old High German trenken
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

Word Origin and History for drench


c.1200, "to submerge, drown," from Old English drencan "give drink to, ply with drink, make drunk; soak, saturate; submerge, drown," causative of drincan "to drink" (see drink), from Proto-Germanic *drankijan (cf. Old Norse drekkja, Swedish dränka, Dutch drenken, German tränken, Gothic dragkjan "to give to drink"). Sense of "to wet thoroughly by throwing liquid over" is from c.1550. Related: Drenched; drenching.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper