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,
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.

1250–1300; Middle English drounnen, Old English druncnian, perhaps by loss of c between nasals and shift of length from nn to ou

drowner, noun
half-drowned, adjective
half-drowning, adjective
undrowned, adjective

4. deluge, engulf, submerge, drench, soak.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
drown (draʊn)
vb (sometimes foll by out)
1.  to die or kill by immersion in liquid
2.  (tr) to destroy or get rid of as if by submerging: he drowned his sorrows in drink
3.  (tr) to drench thoroughly; inundate; flood
4.  to render (a sound) inaudible by making a loud noise
[C13: probably from Old English druncnian; related to Old Norse drukna to be drowned]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, perhaps from O.E. druncnian "be swallowed up by water" (originally of ships as well as living things), from base of drincan "to drink." Modern form is from northern England dialect, probably influenced by O.N. drukna "be drowned." Related: Drowned; drowning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Drown definition

(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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Encyclopedia Britannica


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.

Learn more about drowning with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
With his arms crossed over his head and his feet twitching, he was unconscious and drowning.
Modern whale babies come out tail first to prevent drowning.
Even the lightly wounded die by drowning, doomed by the waterlogging of their
  overloaded packs.
He's famous for ignoring his father's warnings about flying too close to the
  sun, and for drowning as a result of that.
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