• enPR: droun, IPA: /dɹaʊn/, [d̠͡ɹ̠˔ʷaʊn]

drown (drowns, present participle drowning; past and past participle drowned)

  1. (intransitive) To die from suffocation while immersed in water or other fluid.
    When I was a baby, I nearly drowned in the bathtub.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece,
      Old woes, not infant sorrows, bear them mild;
      Continuance tames the one; the other wild,
      Like an unpractised swimmer plunging still,
      With too much labour drowns for want of skill.
  2. (transitive) To kill by suffocating in water or another liquid.
    The car thief fought with an officer and tried to drown a police dog before being shot while escaping.
    • c. 1590, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 2, Act III, Scene 2,
      The pretty-vaulting sea refused to drown me,
      Knowing that thou wouldst have me drown’d on shore,
      With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness:
  3. (intransitive) To be flooded: to be inundated with or submerged in (literally) water or (figuratively) other things; to be overwhelmed.
    We are drowning in information but starving for wisdom.
    • 1990, House of Cards, Season 1, Episode 2:
      Penny Guy: Bloody hell, Rog, whadda you want?
      Roger O'Neill: To drown in your arms and hide in yer eyes, darlin'.
  4. (transitive, figurative) To inundate, submerge, overwhelm.
    He drowns his sorrows in buckets of chocolate ice cream.
    • 1599, John Davies (poet), Nosce Teipsum, London: John Standish, p. 19,
      Though most men being in sensuall pleasures drownd,
      It seemes their Soules but in the Senses are.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene 7,
      Come, thou monarch of the vine,
      Plumpy Bacchus with pink eyne!
      In thy fats our cares be drown’d,
      With thy grapes our hairs be crown’d:
    • 1713, Joseph Addison, Cato, a Tragedy, London: J. Tonson, Act II, Scene 1, p. 23,
      My private Voice is drown’d amid the Senate’s.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Dublin: John Smith, Volume 2, Book 7, Chapter 14, pp. 71-72,
      Unluckily that worthy Officer having, in a literal Sense, taken his Fill of Liquor, had been some Time retired to his Bolster, where he was snoaring so loud, that it was not easy to convey a Noise in at his Ears capable of drowning that which issued from his Nostrils.
  5. (transitive, figurative, usually passive) To obscure, particularly amid an overwhelming volume of other items.
    The answers intelligence services seek are often drowned in the flood of information they can now gather.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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