Meaning of DROWN in English


ˈdrau̇n verb

( drowned -nd ; or nonstandard drownd·ed -ndə̇d ; drowned or nonstandard drownded ; drown·ing -niŋ ; or nonstandard drownd·ing -ndiŋ ; drowns -nz ; or nonstandard drownds -n(d)z)

Etymology: Middle English drunen, drounen, probably alteration of drunknen, from Old English druncnian; akin to Old Norse drukna to drown; inchoatives from the root of English drink — more at drink

intransitive verb


a. : to suffocate in water or some other liquid

fell in the water and drowned

b. : to suffocate because of excess of body fluid that interferes with the passage of oxygen from the lung to the tissues (as in pulmonary edema)

2. of things : to sink in water or some other liquid and become submerged

the boat drowned but we were saved

: become flooded : lie under water impounded by a dam

many towns drown — A.W.Baum


a. : to become overpowered by or come completely under the influence of something (as an emotion or idea)

drowning in bliss — Ellen Glasgow

drowning in self-condemnation — Marcia Davenport

b. : to swoon or have the senses reel (as under the influence of strong emotion)

stare on beauty till his senses drown — Edna S. V. Millay

a passionate, knowing, drowning experience — Irwin Shaw

c. : to experience extreme difficulty or perplexity

drowned in extracurricular paperwork

drowning in the intricacies of calculus

transitive verb


a. : to suffocate by submersion in water or some other liquid

drowned three kittens

drowned himself in the river

b. : to submerge especially by a rise of the water level or by a sinking of the land

the river overflowed, drowning whole villages

a movement of the sea drowned the lower ends of the valleys

c. : to sink (an object) in water or some other liquid : send to the bottom

deeper than ever did plummet sound I'll drown my book — Shakespeare

: immerse in water

drown the nitrated sheets in water at 40° C

d. : to wet thoroughly : cover with moisture : soak , drench

a heavy rain, soaking cartridges and drowning powder horns

drowned the fish in a rich sauce

2. : to engage (oneself) deeply or strenuously

drowned himself in work

— used with in

3. : to cause (a sound) not to be heard by making a loud noise — often used with out

a clamor of denials drowned out the landlord — T.B.Costain


a. : to drive out (as a sensation or an idea) : extinguish

the smell of coffee drowned the spruce smell and the sea smell — Willa Cather

their system tends to drown initiative — Andrew Buchanan

: repress

try to drown their fundamental instincts — Paul Blanshard

: extinguish by merging in something else

drowned the main issue in a general debate

b. : to tower over : overwhelm : reduce to insignificance

a personality that drowned all who stood beside him

: stun , dazzle

vistas that drown the imagination

c. : to drive from the memory or consciousness — often used in the phrase drown one's sorrows

tried to drown his sorrows in liquor

- drown the shamrock

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.