\ 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 Ripley took Alejandro to a different canal an hour later where the boy drowned, the affidavit said. Hollie Silverman, CNN, "Woman who confessed to killing her 9-year-old son pushed him into a canal in Florida, affidavit says," 24 May 2020 With so many families sheltering in place and parents juggling work and child-care responsibilities, drowning is probably low on the list of concerns. Lisa L. Lewis, New York Times, "Children May Be At Higher Risk of Drowning This Summer," 22 May 2020 An email from Phoenix Fire Department spokesperson Captain Kenny Overton referred to the incident as a drowning at a home near Tatum Boulevard and Greenway Road. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "42-year-old man dead after being found in pool near Tatum Boulevard and Greenway Road," 17 May 2020 Without fans, though, sounds that usually would be muted or completely drowned out filled the desolate arena. Bloomberg.com, "Donald Trump Congratulates UFC for Restarting Sports," 12 May 2020 In the nearly 40 years since Natalie Wood drowned off the coast of Catalina Island, the mystery of her death has only grown. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, "What Remains Behind: Natalie Wood," 6 May 2020 Initially used only with pediatric patients, ECMO had increasingly become a method of last resort for drowning victims, people with pneumonia, those suffering from heart attacks — and for a small number of COVID-19 patients. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, "A last resort against COVID-19," 26 Apr. 2020 Taylor told The Courier Journal that the cause of death was drowning. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Coroner: New Albany woman's body was found along Ohio River in Perry County, Indiana," 18 Apr. 2020 Britney gets a piece of glass lodged in her head and then drowns in a bathtub, people. Danielle Gibson, Glamour, "A Complete History of Britney Spears’s Music Videos," 10 Apr. 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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Drown.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drown. Accessed 31 May. 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

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