verb (used without object)
- to die under water or other liquid of suffocation.
verb (used with object)
- to kill by submerging under water or other liquid.
- to destroy or get rid of by, or as if by, immersion: He drowned his sorrows in drink.
- to flood or inundate.
- to overwhelm so as to render inaudible, as by a louder sound (often followed by out).
- to add too much water or liquid to (a drink, food, or the like).
- to slake (lime) by covering with water and letting stand.
- drown in,
- to be overwhelmed by: The company is drowning in bad debts.
- to be covered with or enveloped in: The old movie star was drowning in mink.
- to die or kill by immersion in liquid
- (tr) to destroy or get rid of as if by submerginghe drowned his sorrows in drink
- (tr) to drench thoroughly; inundate; flood
- (tr sometimes foll by out) to render (a sound) inaudible by making a loud noise
c.1300, transitive and intransitive, perhaps from an unrecorded derivative word of Old English druncnian (Middle English druncnen) “be swallowed up by water” (originally of ships as well as living things), probably from the base of drincan “to drink.”
Modern form is from northern England dialect, probably influenced by Old Norse drukna “be drowned.” Related: Drowned; drowning.
In addition to the idioms beginning with drown
- drown one’s sorrows
- drown out
- like a drowned rat