Is there such a word as "drownded"? I would say "drowned" but I am hearing "drownded" so often I am beginning to wonder.

For example:

He went into the deepest waters and drownded.

  • Drownded can be observed in Lord of the Rings, Book 1, Chapter 1 "A Long-Expected Party"
    – user45933
    Jun 12, 2013 at 19:02
  • It also shows up in the Marriott Edgar monologue Albert and the Lion Nah, thi dint think much tu thocean , waves wur all figgly an small, thur wur no wrecks an nobody drownded, fact, nowt much to laugh at adall from about the same period, but that's dialect as are the Tolkien references.
    – BoldBen
    Feb 1, 2017 at 8:45
  • We also occasionally see drownt and drount. Drount appears to be Scottish. Drownt may be a local thing, but "looking like a drownt rat" is the way that idiom is said. books.google.com/…
    – Phil Sweet
    Feb 2, 2017 at 5:20
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    I've certainly heard young kids use the term. It makes perfect sense to a 6-year-old.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 2, 2019 at 20:51
  • I came across this when correcting my 14 year old son tonight. He said 'drownded'. While we are black, My mother taught me that to say such is incorrect...black english...aka ebonics. It's interesting to find out that the use of this seemingly incorrect word is found in other cultures. I swear I thought it was just our country black folks lol Feb 2, 2020 at 1:20

7 Answers 7


Drownd is an archaic form of drown from which drownded is an archaic form of drowned. It is still found in some dialects either by survival or by emphasis of the -ed since the rhymes-with-round sound of drowned may not sound as obviously past-tense to some ears as others.

It's incorrectly frowned upon as incorrect, by people whose dialects did not retain drownd and drownded, and worth avoiding for that reason, especially in writing - so as to not only be correct, but to be seen to be correct.

But likewise, since it isn't really incorrect, the only time it is appropriate to criticise someone for using it is if you are enforcing a style-guide (when you can criticise any decision that goes against it). Those using it are not wrong.

Edit: In the dialect I grew up with, we were familiar with all four of drownd, drownded, drown and drowned. We knew that the latter two were received English, and would use them in writing, or when we wished to avoid dialectical words to "speak proper". I did not know they were retentions (my dialect has a good few retentions, some Hibernicisms, some borrowings from Ulster-Scots, and some presumably inventions of its own, but only as someone with an interest in such matters in later life do I know a bit about which are which), but we did use them. In general speech we favoured drown and drownded because drownd and drowned sound quite close to each other, while drown and drownded are clearly differentiated>

  • 6
    I think it might be construed as wrong because it sounds like the person is saying "drowned-ed", like a little kid might.
    – Joe Z.
    Jan 26, 2013 at 15:53
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    I think your use if 'correct' is too academic. Most native speakers of -all- current varieties of English would regard 'drownded' as terribly incorrect.
    – Mitch
    Jan 26, 2013 at 16:36
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    @Mitch I think your "all" is factually correct there. I hope it is, and you aren't saying that some of us are in some way inferior to those who grew up in other parts of the English-speaking world.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 26, 2013 at 16:48
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    @FumbleFingers are we only to restrict "correct" to what is standard English, and speak of dialect only as a deviation into error regardless of context? I stand by my answer; it is dialectical English, found in several dialects, and is appropriate in cases where dialectical English is appropriate.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 26, 2013 at 21:40
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    @FumbleFingers I would use neither chipper nor drownded in formal writing (unless as quoted dialect). I most certainly would have used drownded then in a context where I would now use chipper, having moved in the meantime from somewhere that had drownded and chip shops to somewhere with drowned and chippers (and less concern about drowning, not being a fishing village) and having gone native a bit. Drownded was certainly living dialect as we spoke it, not part of a history lesson.
    – Jon Hanna
    Jan 26, 2013 at 22:38

The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) gives drownded as an alternative to drowned and there are ten citations throughout the dictionary illustrating its earlier use, but its use now is described as ‘vulgar’.

Stick to drowned.

  • Not online - is the free online version a limited subset of the full dictionary?
    – Stuart
    Jan 26, 2013 at 19:20
  • @Stuart. This is the OED: oed.com. It requires a paid subscription. The various other Oxford dictionaries are not the same thing. Jan 26, 2013 at 19:43
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    @Barrie: I think it was you who altered me to the fact that (in the UK, at least), you can access OED with your library card number. Jan 26, 2013 at 21:22
  • Yes, that's right. Other works of reference too. Jan 26, 2013 at 21:29

Merriam-Webster's 3rd Unabridged Dictionary of English (MW3UDE) lists "drownded" as a nonstandard spelling of drowned, which means that it has enough history to justify its use, but that it's probably not going to be seen very often, if ever, in formal English writing. Drowned is the current standard spelling.


I have known people who say "drowned" as the present tense (i.e. "Without a life-guard, people will drowned"), drownded as the past tense, as well as "drownding" instead of drowning. I think it is common in the Midwest.

  • 1
    This is a useful answer because it also confirms Jon Hanna's assertion that "drownded" is it is dialectical English, found in several dialects
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 11, 2014 at 5:21

4 year old grandson says "killded" instead of "killed", so I looked up drownded on Google. I was not surprised to see that it is in some dialects of English.

I also found "killded" on Google.


c1850 – c1950 the heyday of drownded:

enter image description here

Too early to call it entirely wrong or deprecate it, perhaps.

  • 5
    Heyday? What about 'drowned'? You're only comparing 'drownded' with 'drownd', two rare alternatives to 'drowned'. I dont think it is -that- early to judge.
    – Mitch
    Jan 27, 2013 at 16:19
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    @Mitch Including drowned will definitely drown both these lines in the graph because of the huge difference. You have seen it happen, right? We can only compare comparables.
    – Kris
    Jan 28, 2013 at 4:13
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    It was Willie what got drownded in the deep blue sea.
    – Airymouse
    Feb 1, 2017 at 2:36
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    This question wasn't asking to compare two archaic forms, but to ask if "drownded" is a correct or standard verbal past tense of "drown." This graph doesn't really help answer that.
    – B. Findlay
    Jan 26 at 16:01

I believe in my mind that drowned pertains to someone that entered deep water and never reemerged.

In relation to drownded, that is someone who has got extremely wet, from the rain, for example

  • 1
    David, you may have a good answer, but it needs citation from a reliable source to be accepted. You might want to look at successful answers to other questions.
    – J. Taylor
    Jun 2, 2019 at 20:43
  • "Drowned" has no connotation of depth: you can drown in a puddle. It's also common to use "drown" in a metaphorical sense (e.g. drowning in paperwork), so using the old-fashioned "drownded" in the same way would be no surprise. Jun 3, 2019 at 3:28

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