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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.
(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.
suffocation by immersion in a liquid, usually water. Water closing over the victim's mouth and nose cuts off the body's supply of oxygen. Deprived of oxygen the victim stops struggling, loses consciousness, and gives up the remaining tidal air in his lungs. There the heart may continue to beat feebly for a brief interval, but eventually it ceases. Until recently, the oxygen deprivation that occurs with immersion in water was believed to lead to irreversible brain damage if it lasted beyond three to seven minutes. It is now known that victims immersed for an hour or longer may be totally salvageable, physically and intellectually, although they lack evidence of life, having no measurable vital signs-heartbeat, pulse, or breathing-at the time of rescue. A fuller appreciation of the body's physiological defenses against drowning has prompted modification of traditional therapies and intensification of resuscitative efforts, so that many people who once would have been given up for dead are being saved.