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1. To force someone out of one's home, often due to flooding. A noun or pronoun can be used between "drown" and "out." Unfortunately, that hurricane drowned us out, and we've been staying with relatives ever since.
2. To use or create a louder noise to make a different, often unpleasant, noise less audible. A noun or pronoun can be used between "drown" and "out." I immediately turned up the TV in an attempt to drown out my brother's tuba practice.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
drown someone or something out
[for a sound] to be so loud that someone or something cannot be heard. The noise of the passing train drowned out our conversation. The train drowned us out.
drown someone (or an animal) out
[for a flood] to drive someone or an animal away from home. The high waters almost drowned the farmers out last year. The water drowned out the fields.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Overwhelm with a louder sound, as in Their cries were drowned out by the passing train. [Early 1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To muffle or mask some sound with a louder sound: I turned up my TV in order to drown out the noise coming from next door. The protesters drowned the speaker out.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.