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Etymology 1[edit]

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.



drench (plural drenches)

  1. A draught administered to an animal.
    • William Shakespeare
      Give my roan horse a drench.
  2. (obsolete) A drink; a draught; specifically, a potion of medicine poured or forced down the throat; also, a potion that causes purging.
    • John Dryden
      A drench of wine has with success been us'd,
      And through a horn the gen'rous juice infus'd,
      Which, timely taken, op'd his closing jaws,
      But, if too late, the patient's death did cause.
    • Mark Twain, Christian Science and the Book of Mrs. Eddy
      I took up the 'Christian Scientist' book and read half of it, then took a dipperful of drench and read the other half.


drench (third-person singular simple present drenches, present participle drenching, simple past and past participle drenched)

  1. To soak, to make very wet.
    • Dryden
      Now dam the ditches and the floods restrain; / Their moisture has already drenched the plain.
  2. To cause to drink; especially, to dose (e.g. a horse) with medicine by force.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English dreng, from Old English dreng (warrior, soldier), from Proto-Germanic *drangijaz, cognate to Old Norse drengr.


drench (plural drenches)

  1. (obsolete, Britain) A military vassal, mentioned in the Domesday Book.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Burrill to this entry?)