\ ˈdrau̇n How to pronounce drown (audio) \
drowned\ ˈdrau̇nd How to pronounce drown (audio) \; drowning\ ˈdrau̇-​niŋ How to pronounce drown (audio) \

Definition of drown

intransitive verb

: to become drowned fell in the river and drowned chicken drowning in barbecue sauce drowning in paperwork

transitive verb

1a : to suffocate by submersion especially in water
b : to submerge especially by a rise in the water level villages drowned by the flooding river
c : to soak, drench, or cover with a liquid drowns her French fries in ketchup
2 : to engage (oneself) deeply and strenuously drowned himself in work
3 : to cause (a sound) not to be heard by making a loud noise usually used with out turned up the radio to drown out the noise
4a : to drive out (something, such as a sensation or an idea) drowned his sorrows in liquor
b : overwhelm was drowned in homework

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Synonyms & Antonyms for drown



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Examples of drown in a Sentence

Four people drowned in the flood. She fell in the river and drowned. She claims that he tried to drown her. He tried to drown himself. The river overflowed, drowning whole villages. The food was drowned in sauce. The loud music drowned the sound of their conversation.
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Recent Examples on the Web As Mercury wraps up its retrograde transit, communication breakdown isn’t completely ruled out due to post-retrograde shadow — and, of course, the fact that Mercury is shifting into Pisces, where dictionaries and complete thoughts go to drown. Gala Mukomolova, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week: February 21, 2021," 21 Feb. 2021 The town, practically abandoned this afternoon, starts to drown in a piercing light. Jhumpa Lahiri, The New Yorker, "Casting Shadows," 8 Feb. 2021 Your head pounds out a persistent beat, threatening to drown out your drunken high and your stomach starts growlin’ with a vicious urgency. John Stanton | Gambit Editor, NOLA.com, "Don’t forget to feed your belly after feeding your soul on Mardi Gras," 8 Feb. 2021 The good news is, the sheer optimistic power of the Sun-Jupiter conjunction will drown out the negativity caused by this square, and help push us to take meaningful action in our lives. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "The Luckiest Day Of 2021 Is Coming. Here’s Exactly How To Celebrate It," 26 Jan. 2021 But, because of special-interest infighting pitting insurers and consumer advocates against physicians and private equity firms, Congress has serially failed to ban this rapacious practice, which can drown patients in unanticipated medical debt. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | OTHERS SAY: Chance at progress," 21 Dec. 2020 More accurately, their roaring engines and screaming tires will drown any complaints. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "200-mph+ Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing super-sedan restores brand’s performance halo," 2 Feb. 2021 For now, the sounds of machinery and construction often drown out the sounds of the birds in the Chinese maples surrounding the town. New York Times, "Blue-Collar Boom: How China Bounced Back From the Virus," 15 Jan. 2021 This year doesn’t look promising, as a full moon will drown out most of the display. oregonlive, "Stargazing calendar 2021: Eclipses, meteor showers and other astronomical events this year," 30 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drown.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of drown

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for drown

Middle English drounen

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Time Traveler for drown

Time Traveler

The first known use of drown was in the 14th century

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Statistics for drown

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Drown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drown. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for drown



English Language Learners Definition of drown

: to die by being underwater too long and unable to breathe
: to hold (a person or animal) underwater until death occurs
: to cover (something) completely with a liquid


\ ˈdrau̇n How to pronounce drown (audio) \
drowned; drowning

Kids Definition of drown

1 : to die or cause to die from being underwater and unable to breathe
2 : to cover with a liquid She drowns her salad with dressing.
3 : to overpower especially with noise
4 : to make helpless or overwhelmed drowning in work


\ ˈdrau̇n How to pronounce drown (audio) \
drowned\ ˈdrau̇nd How to pronounce drown (audio) \; drowning\ ˈdrau̇-​niŋ How to pronounce drown (audio) \

Medical Definition of drown

intransitive verb

1 : to suffocate in water or some other liquid
2 : to suffocate because of excess of body fluid that interferes with the passage of oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues (as in pulmonary edema)

transitive verb

: to suffocate by submersion especially in water drowned three kittens

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More from Merriam-Webster on drown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drown

Nglish: Translation of drown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drown for Arabic Speakers

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