\ ˈdrau̇n How to pronounce drown (audio) \
drowned\ ˈdrau̇nd How to pronounce drowned (audio) \; drowning\ ˈdrau̇-​niŋ How to pronounce drowning (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 outturned 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 Presumably, many original inhabitants of the planet that could not tolerate oxygen then went extinct, drowned in their own waste products. James Trefil And Michael Summers, Smithsonian Magazine, "If Aliens Exist Elsewhere in the Universe, How Would They Behave?," 31 Dec. 2019 Done well, these elements are perfect, creating one of the best games of all time: the story of a dying world drowning in confusion, horror, and regret. Julie Muncy, Wired, "The Decade's 10 Most Influential Videogames," 28 Dec. 2019 If your home is within hearing distance of a fireworks display, consider putting your fur baby in the basement for the evening or putting on the TV or radio to help drown out all the booms. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Eight unconventional ways to ring in 2020: Celebrate New Year's Eve differently," 28 Dec. 2019 Ro-Ho Pork & Bread: Torta ahogada The real beauty of this colorful North Side spot lies in the elegant complexity behind one simple thing: a torta ahogada built on a crusty roll with lush carnitas, drowned in spicy chile broth. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Critics pick: 25 best San Antonio restaurant dishes of 2019," 23 Dec. 2019 The tsunami that resulted killed 159 people in Hawaii, drowned a swimmer in Santa Cruz, banged up fishing boats in Chile and wrecked a hut on Antarctica. Anchorage Daily News, "The demise of Scotch Cap lighthouse," 21 Dec. 2019 Being deliberately exposed to the radiation of nuclear tests, or being secretly dosed with LSD by researchers, or drowning in an off-duty rafting trip because of a negligent guide have all been deemed injuries incident to service. New York Times, "U.S. Troops Could Soon Be Able to Sue Over Medical Blunders," 11 Dec. 2019 Mesa firefighters and paramedics responded to a drowning call involving a child about 10:50 a.m. on East Glade Street, according to Mesa Fire and Medical Department. Chase Hunter, azcentral, "Child dies after being pulled from Mesa swimming pool," 20 Dec. 2019 Many drowned ancient villages lie off the northern coast of Israel, which was dotted with farming settlements at the time, says Ehud Galili, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa in Israel. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "This 7000-year-old wall was the earliest known defense against rising seas. It failed," 18 Dec. 2019

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

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Drown.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drown. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for drown


How to pronounce drown (audio)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drown

Spanish Central: Translation of drown

Nglish: Translation of drown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drown for Arabic Speakers

Comments on drown

What made you want to look up drown? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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