View synonyms for drown


[ droun ]

verb (used without object)

  1. to die under water or other liquid of suffocation.

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.

    Synonyms: soak, drench, submerge, engulf, deluge

  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.

verb phrase

    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.


/ draʊn /


  1. to die or kill by immersion in liquid
  2. tr to destroy or get rid of as if by submerging

    he drowned his sorrows in drink

  3. tr to drench thoroughly; inundate; flood
  4. trsometimes foll byout to render (a sound) inaudible by making a loud noise

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Derived Forms

  • ˈdrowner, noun
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Other Words From

  • drowner noun
  • half-drowned adjective
  • half-drowning adjective
  • un·drowned adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of drown1

1250–1300; Middle English drounnen, Old English druncnian, perhaps by loss of c between nasals and shift of length from nn to ou
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Word History and Origins

Origin of drown1

C13: probably from Old English druncnian; related to Old Norse drukna to be drowned
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Idioms and Phrases

  • like a drowned rat
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Example Sentences

If they were submerged for longer, the plants might have drowned, Armitage notes.

One can imagine the captain of the Titanic insisting on pointing out that 900 people didn’t drown.

Any student of modern math must know what it feels like to drown in a well of telescoping terminology.

Nala is Ophelia, Simba’s love, though thankfully she doesn’t go mad from being ignored by him and drown.

From Vox

It could be how I so clearly remember the night I almost drowned.

It seems like, since we live in the sound bite era, grabby headlines like “EBOLA” and “ISIS” tend to drown out those numbers.

Goldman, wisely, does not raise a raft of questions that drown a writer in the answering.

Watching her drown her sorrows in hooch and then get beat up by Crazy Eyes in the showers was ghastly…but great television.

If prioritizing guns over dead kids makes you angry, stand up and drown his words out with action.

The ice breaks, the Reds drown, the Whites rally to take the Island.

Consequently, I haven't been very bright, though I am gradually coming up to the surface again, for I'm pretty hard to drown!

He noticed the date on the hotel calendar, and realised that the Fates had another ten days in which to drown him.

"If you had been Reff you wouldn't have run away and left me to drown," went on Coulter, stubbornly.

And the noise it makes is something terrific, I assure you—loud enough to drown half-a-dozen pianos.

She threatened to go beyond sea, to throw herself out of window, to drown herself.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




droverdrowned valley