- to be sleepy or half-asleep.
- to be dull or sluggish.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for drowse
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.The Universal Reciter
Your days of hope are over, and you want to drowse by the fire.Northern Lights
The landscape seemed to be in drowse, half-sleeping and half-waking.A Spoil of Office
She was no sensualist, longing to drowse sleepily in the lap of luxury.Sister Carrie
Unceremoniously Stair Garland awaked Louis from his drowse in the cave's mouth.Patsy
S. R. Crockett
- to be or cause to be sleepy, dull, or sluggish
- the state of being drowsy
C16: probably from Old English drūsian to sink; related to drēosan to fall
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