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.
  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.

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

Synonyms for drench

1. See wet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drenching

Contemporary Examples of drenching

Historical Examples of drenching

  • Rain came, in a torrent of water, heavy as lead, drenching her to the skin.

    The Innocent Adventuress

    Mary Hastings Bradley

  • Wilson returned no more, and the promise of a drenching was never fulfilled.

  • "I think we are in for a drenching, May," said Hil, looking anxiously round.

  • A wave broke over the bows of the vessel, drenching them with spray.

    The Traitors

    E. Phillips (Edward Phillips) Oppenheim

  • He had taken cold from his drenching, and was shivering and feverish by turns.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

British Dictionary definitions for drenching


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

Word Origin for drench

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 drenching



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper