Synonyms & Antonyms of drain

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to remove (liquid) gradually or completely
  • we drained the water from the tank before cleaning it

Synonyms for drain

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Antonyms for drain

2 to make complete use of
  • virtually drained the country's natural resources

Synonyms for drain

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Phrases Synonymous with drain

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Antonyms for drain

3 to use up all the physical energy of
  • the long hike drained us

Synonyms for drain

Words Related to drain

Phrases Synonymous with drain

Near Antonyms for drain



Synonyms & Antonyms of drain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 as in sluice, flume

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for drain

2 as in flow

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for drain

Antonyms & Near Antonyms for drain

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Frequently Asked Questions About drain

How is the word drain distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of drain are bankrupt, deplete, exhaust, and impoverish. While all these words mean "to deprive of something essential to existence or potency," drain implies a gradual withdrawal and ultimate deprivation of what is necessary to an existence.

personal tragedy had drained him of all spirit

When might bankrupt be a better fit than drain?

The synonyms bankrupt and drain are sometimes interchangeable, but bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse.

war had bankrupted the nation of resources

When can deplete be used instead of drain?

Although the words deplete and drain have much in common, deplete implies a reduction in number or quantity so as to endanger the ability to function.

depleting our natural resources

When is exhaust a more appropriate choice than drain?

In some situations, the words exhaust and drain are roughly equivalent. However, exhaust stresses a complete emptying.

her lecture exhausted the subject

When would impoverish be a good substitute for drain?

The words impoverish and drain are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness.

impoverished soil

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Time Traveler for drain

Time Traveler

The first known use of drain was before the 12th century

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Thesaurus Entries Near drain

drags (out)


drain (away)

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Cite this Entry

“Drain.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on drain

Nglish: Translation of drain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drain for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about drain


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