\ˈdrau̇n \
drowned\ˈdrau̇nd \; drowning\ˈdrau̇-​niŋ \

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


deluge, engulf, flood, gulf, inundate, overflow, overwhelm, submerge, submerse, swamp



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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

Four people have died in the park this year, including a June 28 incident in which one 48-year-old man drowned near Avon and six other swimmers had to be rescued from the current, according to the park. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Despite 'high risk' warning and drownings, Cape Hatteras sees record number of tourists," 9 July 2018 The man who drowned in the Fox River Wednesday night has been identified as a 35-year-old Elgin resident, police said. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Man who drowned in Fox River during fireworks show ID'd as Elgin resident," 6 July 2018 The story that unravels from there is one that, in the hands of a lesser writer, could have been drowned in a deluge of exposition. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "I want to buy this YA trilogy about gene-hacking for every teen I know," 11 Nov. 2018 And while any change is sure to bring out some haters, the praise will almost certainly drown them out, if the runways of New York Fashion Week are any indication. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "What's Holding Victoria's Secret Back From Body Diversity on the Runway?," 9 Nov. 2018 In 1843, his daughter Léopoldine (who was born when Hugo was but 22) and her new husband were drowned in a boating accident on the Seine. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo’ Review: A Writer’s Other, Haunting Talent," 29 Oct. 2018 However, the conversation around the Hanson family hasn’t entirely drowned out the more serious aspects of the conversation that sprang up after their mom’s tweet. Aja Romano, Vox, "How a mom’s “This is My Son” anti-feminist brag went viral — and completely backfired," 9 Oct. 2018 The top three were drowning, transportation related (mostly being hit by trains), and falling off of things, such as cliff edges. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Here are the top ways people die while taking selfies and “being cool”," 4 Oct. 2018 Those vibrations drowned out the insect-like clicks of camera shutters and the frantic splashing of predator-evading Banana River fish in a monumental wall of noise. Mike Wall, Space.com, "A Fireball and a Wall of Sound: What NASA's Epic Solar Probe Launch Felt Like," 14 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for drown

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drown

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

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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 \
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 \
drowned\ˈdrau̇nd \; drowning\ˈdrau̇-​niŋ \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drown

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drown

Spanish Central: Translation of drown

Nglish: Translation of drown for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drown for Arabic Speakers

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having a pattern of small flowers

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