transitive verbdrenched, drench·ing, drench·es
- To wet through and through; soak.
- To administer a large oral dose of liquid medicine to (an animal).
- To provide with something in great abundance; surfeit: just drenched in money.
- The act of wetting or becoming wet through and through.
- Something that drenches: a drench of rain.
- A large dose of liquid medicine, especially one administered to an animal by pouring down the throat.
Origin of drench
Middle English drenchen to drown from
Old English drencan to give to drink, drown
; see dhreg-
in Indo-European roots.
Related Forms:Word History: Drink
mean quite different things today, but in fact they share similar origins, and, historically, similar meanings. Drink
comes from a prehistoric Germanic verb *drinkan,
from the Germanic root *drink-
meaning “drink.” Another form of this root, *drank-,
could be combined with a suffix *-jan
that was used to form causative verbs, in this case *drankjan,
“to cause to drink.” The descendant of the simple verb *drinkan
in Old English was drincan
(virtually unchanged), while the causative verb *drankjan
was affected by certain sound shifts and became Old English drencan,
pronounced (drĕn′chŏn), and, in Middle and Modern English, drench.
In Middle English drench
came to mean “to drown,” a sense now obsolete; the sense “to steep, soak in liquid” and the current modern sense “to make thoroughly wet” developed by early Modern English times. Drink
are not the only such pairs in English, where one verb comes from a prehistoric Germanic causative; some others include sit
(“to cause to sit”), lie
(“to cause to lie”), and fall
(“cause to fall”).
- A draught administered to an animal.
- Give my roan horse a drench.
(third-person singular simple present drenches, present participle drenching, simple past and past participle drenched)
- To soak, to make very wet.
- To cause to drink; especially, to dose (e.g. a horse) with medicine by force.
Middle English drenchen, from Old English drenċan, from Proto-Germanic *drankijaną (compare Dutch drenken ‘to get a drink’, German tränken ‘to water, give a drink’), causative of *drinkaną (“to drink”). More at drink.
- (obsolete, UK) A military vassal, mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Anglo-Saxon dreng warrior, soldier, akin to Icelandic drengr.