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See more synonyms for drown on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to die under water or other liquid of suffocation.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to kill by submerging under water or other liquid.
  2. to destroy or get rid of by, or as if by, immersion: He drowned his sorrows in drink.
  3. to flood or inundate.
  4. to overwhelm so as to render inaudible, as by a louder sound (often followed by out).
  5. to add too much water or liquid to (a drink, food, or the like).
  6. to slake (lime) by covering with water and letting stand.
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Verb Phrases
  1. drown in,
    1. to be overwhelmed by: The company is drowning in bad debts.
    2. to be covered with or enveloped in: The old movie star was drowning in mink.
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Origin of drown

1250–1300; Middle English drounnen, Old English druncnian, perhaps by loss of c between nasals and shift of length from nn to ou
Related formsdrown·er, nounhalf-drowned, adjectivehalf-drown·ing, adjectiveun·drowned, adjective

Synonyms for drown

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for drown

drench, inundate, immerse, soak, flood, swamp, suffocate, sink, engulf, douse, asphyxiate, plunge, deluge, overwhelm, prostrate, obliterate, souse, overpower, sop, overflow

Examples from the Web for drown

Contemporary Examples of drown

Historical Examples of drown

  • That was why she had made such a noise about it, in order to drown these words.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • But are you voluble enough to drown all sense in a torrent of words?

  • Were we to drown the world with them, could the world blame us?

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Peter might not be dead; what should he say to Margaret if he left him there to drown?

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Stryker had befriended him indeed, had he permitted him to drown.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for drown


  1. to die or kill by immersion in liquid
  2. (tr) to destroy or get rid of as if by submerginghe drowned his sorrows in drink
  3. (tr) to drench thoroughly; inundate; flood
  4. (tr sometimes foll by out) to render (a sound) inaudible by making a loud noise
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Derived Formsdrowner, noun

Word Origin for drown

C13: probably from Old English druncnian; related to Old Norse drukna to be drowned
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 drown


c.1300, transitive and intransitive, perhaps from an unrecorded derivative word of Old English druncnian (Middle English druncnen) "be swallowed up by water" (originally of ships as well as living things), probably from the base of drincan "to drink."

Modern form is from northern England dialect, probably influenced by Old Norse drukna "be drowned." Related: Drowned; drowning.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with drown


In addition to the idioms beginning with drown

  • drown one's sorrows
  • drown out

also see:

  • like a drowned rat
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.