\ ˈdrau̇z How to pronounce drowse (audio) \
drowsed; drowsing

Definition of drowse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to be inactive
2 : to fall into a light slumber

transitive verb

1 : to make drowsy or inactive
2 : to pass (time) drowsily or in drowsing



Definition of drowse (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or an instance of drowsing : doze

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Synonyms for drowse

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of drowse in a Sentence

Verb picnickers drowsing in the shade of an oak tree Noun was just falling into a drowse when you called
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Stars lounged and drowsed: Muhammad Ali with a newspaper, Peter Cook in his old mac on a lilo in a Hollywood pool. The Economist, "Obituary: Terry O’Neill died on November 16th," 21 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The wealthy suburb of Phoenix drowses in the heat of the Sonoran Desert, sprinkled with luxury resorts catering to snowbirds in what Arizonans call the Valley of the Sun. Lynette Rice, EW.com, "The tragic, unsolved murder of Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane," 26 Aug. 2019

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

First Known Use of drowse


1573, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1796, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for drowse


probably akin to Goth driusan to fall — more at dreary

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Time Traveler for drowse

Time Traveler

The first known use of drowse was in 1573

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Cite this Entry

“Drowse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drowse. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for drowse


How to pronounce drowse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of drowse

: to sleep lightly or to almost be asleep


\ ˈdrau̇z How to pronounce drowse (audio) \
drowsed; drowsing

Kids Definition of drowse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to sleep lightly



Kids Definition of drowse (Entry 2 of 2)

: a light sleep : doze

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drowse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drowse

Spanish Central: Translation of drowse

Nglish: Translation of drowse for Spanish Speakers

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