\ 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 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

According to statistics released from the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate and Child Fatality Review Panel, drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children. Lydia Gerike, courant.com, "With swimming season here and a warm holiday weekend ahead, here’s what experts recommend to keep kids from drowning," 3 July 2019 Eppler said on Tuesday, and maybe, for a few brief hours, the familiar rhythms of the game helped drown out the sorrow. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "'Our Team Will Never Be the Same': Angels Grieve Tyler Skaggs in Return to Action," 3 July 2019 Sheriff's deputies and fire crews responded to the reported drowning Monday in the area of 107th Avenue and Happy Valley Road. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "3-year-old girl dies after being pulled out of Peoria pool," 2 July 2019 Cindy countered that the toddler had drowned in the family pool. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, "Casey Anthony 'Is Tired of Her Father Blaming Her' for Caylee’s Death: Source," 1 June 2018 Serbian tabloids, who toe the government line and drown out dissenting press in the country, seem to be announcing a new war with Kosovo every other day. Una Hajdari, The New Republic, "The Clinton Administration Did Not Fix the Balkans," 21 June 2019 But at noisier times, the calls carried only a meter or so before being drowned out. Elizabeth Preston, Science | AAAS, "A growing sensory smog threatens the ability of fish to communicate, navigate, and survive," 20 June 2019 The risk of drowning can be reduced significantly if children take swim lessons by age 4, and lessons are now recommended for children starting at age 1, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics released in March. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "Free swim lessons for kids in South Florida," 17 June 2019 Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "Steve Jobs: Text of his 2005 Stanford University commencement speech," 16 June 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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Statistics for drown

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

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 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

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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