a survival technique, for swimmers or nonswimmers, in which the body is allowed to float vertically in the water, with the head submerged, the lungs filled with air, and the arms and legs relaxed, the head being raised to breathe every ten seconds or so.

1965–70; drown + -proof + -ing1, modeled on waterproofing, etc.

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verb (used with object)
to teach (a person) the technique of drownproofing.

1975–80; back formation from drownproofing

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
If you are unable to locate a ladder or line, use the drownproofing method to stay afloat.
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