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[druhngk] /drʌŋk/
being in a temporary state in which one's physical and mental faculties are impaired by an excess of alcoholic drink; intoxicated:
The wine made him drunk.
overcome or dominated by a strong feeling or emotion:
drunk with power; drunk with joy.
pertaining to or caused by intoxication or intoxicated persons.
an intoxicated person.
a spree; drinking party.
past participle and nonstandard simple past tense of drink.
Origin of drunk
1300-50; Middle English drunken, Old English druncen, past participle of drincan to drink
Related forms
half-drunk, adjective
undrunk, adjective
1. drunken, inebriated.
1, 3. sober.
Usage note
Both drunk and drunken are used as modifiers before nouns naming persons: a drunk customer; a drunken merrymaker. Only drunk occurs after a linking verb: He was not drunk, just jovial. The actor was drunk with success. The modifier drunk in legal language describes a person whose blood contains more than the legally allowed percentage of alcohol: Drunk drivers go to jail. Drunken, not drunk, is almost always the form used with nouns that do not name persons: drunken arrogance; a drunken free-for-all. In such uses it normally has the sense “pertaining to, caused by, or marked by intoxication.” Drunken is also idiomatic in such expressions as drunken bum. See also drink. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for half-drunk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He and I had been drinking together, and I was nearly drunk, but he was only about half-drunk.

    The Winning Clue

    James Hay, Jr.
  • The landlord was half-drunk already in honour of the occasion.

    Fantmas Pierre Souvestre
  • The man was half-drunk, and the poor children were running about half-naked and half-starved.

    Gipsy Life George Smith
  • The scoundrel is half-drunk himself, and smells like a spirit-vault.

  • His son, Jim, every two or three months, broke loose for a half-drunk.

    Mountain Clement Wood
  • Slater had been worse sober than he had been sleepy and half-drunk.

    Take the Reason Prisoner John Joseph McGuire
  • A crowd of German soldiers, some half-drunk, collects round us.

    Servants of the Guns Jeffery E. Jeffery
  • A half-drunk Chinaman reviled me badly one evening at dinner.

British Dictionary definitions for half-drunk


partially intoxicated with alcohol


intoxicated with alcohol to the extent of losing control over normal physical and mental functions
overwhelmed by strong influence or emotion: drunk with joy
a person who is drunk or drinks habitually to excess
(informal) a drinking bout
Word Origin
Old English druncen, past participle of drincan to drink; see drink
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for half-drunk



past participle of drink, used as an adjective from mid-14c. in sense "intoxicated." In various expressions, e.g. "drunk as a lord" (1891); Chaucer has "dronke ... as a Mous" (c.1386); and, from 1709, "as Drunk as a Wheelbarrow." Medieval folklore distinguished four successive stages of drunkenness, based on the animals they made men resemble: sheep, lion, ape, sow. Drunk driver first recorded 1948. Drunk-tank "jail cell for drunkards" attested by 1912, American English. The noun meaning "drunken person" is from 1852; earlier this would have been a drunkard.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for half-drunk



Intoxicated by alcohol; plastered, schnockered, shit-faced (1340+)


  1. A drinking bout; spree; bender, binge (1779+)
  2. A case or occasion of intoxication: Took him an hour to get a good drunk (1849+)
  3. A drunken person, esp a habitual alcoholic; Drunkard, lush (1852+)

Related Terms

cheap date, punch-drunk

[in all senses drunk verges on being standard English]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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