The verb drown means to die from inhaling water into the lungs and being unable to breathe. It is possible to drown in a small amount of water — even an inch or two in a bathtub.

If you kill people by submerging your victims in liquid (especially water) until it fills their lungs and asphyxiates them, then you drown them. You can drown things in a less literal way as well. If you drink alcoholic beverages to forget your troubles, for example, you can say you're trying to "drown your sorrows." If you're submerged in a tidal wave of school assignments, then you are "drowning in work."

Definitions of drown

v kill by submerging in water

“He drowned the kittens”
Type of:
cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly

v die from being submerged in water, getting water into the lungs, and asphyxiating

“The child drowned in the lake”
Type of:
buy the farm, cash in one's chips, choke, conk, croak, decease, die, drop dead, exit, expire, give-up the ghost, go, kick the bucket, pass, pass away, perish, pop off, snuff it
pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life

v be covered with or submerged in a liquid

Type of:
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v cover completely or make imperceptible

“I was drowned in work”
“The noise drowned out her speech”
overwhelm, submerge
Type of:
cover, spread over
form a cover over

v get rid of as if by submerging

“She drowned her trouble in alcohol”
Type of:
do away with, eliminate, extinguish, get rid of
terminate, end, or take out

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