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[droun] /draʊn/
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.
Verb phrases
drown in,
  1. to be overwhelmed by:
    The company is drowning in bad debts.
  2. to be covered with or enveloped in:
    The old movie star was drowning in mink.
Origin of drown
1250-1300; Middle English drounnen, Old English druncnian, perhaps by loss of c between nasals and shift of length from nn to ou
Related forms
drowner, noun
half-drowned, adjective
half-drowning, adjective
undrowned, adjective
4. deluge, engulf, submerge, drench, soak. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for drown out
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Successive waves of immigration can drown out the sharply defined character of a people.

    Our Part in the Great War Arthur Gleason
  • The sound of the cannon,” he answered evasively, “will drown out what we do.

    The White Mice Richard Harding Davis
  • I tried to drown out some, and poured several barrels of water into a hole without bringing any out.

    Three Years on the Plains Edmund B. Tuttle
  • Toglet drank copiously, as if to drown out the memory of what had occurred.

    The Young Bridge-Tender Arthur M. Winfield
  • A minute routine pressed upon him, and he had suffered that routine to swamp his perspective, to drown out his fires.

    V. V.'s Eyes Henry Sydnor Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for drown out


to die or kill by immersion in liquid
(transitive) to destroy or get rid of as if by submerging: he drowned his sorrows in drink
(transitive) to drench thoroughly; inundate; flood
(transitive) sometimes foll by out. to render (a sound) inaudible by making a loud noise
Derived Forms
drowner, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably from Old English druncnian; related to Old Norse drukna to be drowned
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for drown out



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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drown out in the Bible

(Ex. 15:4; Amos 8:8; Heb. 11:29). Drowning was a mode of capital punishment in use among the Syrians, and was known to the Jews in the time of our Lord. To this he alludes in Matt. 18:6.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with drown out

drown out

Overwhelm with a louder sound, as in Their cries were drowned out by the passing train. [ Early 1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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