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90s Slang You Should Know


[tip-see] /ˈtɪp si/
adjective, tipsier, tipsiest.
slightly intoxicated or drunk.
characterized by or due to intoxication:
a tipsy lurch.
tipping, unsteady, or tilted, as if from intoxication.
Origin of tipsy
1570-80; tip2 or obsolete tip strong drink (perhaps back formation from tipple1) + -sy. Compare obsolete bumpsy in same sense
Related forms
tipsily, adverb
tipsiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tipsy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The new proofs came back on similar sheets, to be returned to the printer, again like the web and tracks of a tipsy spider.

  • At last the clerk Vasia became so tipsy that he began to giggle and talk to his plate.

    Virgin Soil Ivan S. Turgenev
  • Alcus, the famous poet, never sat down to compose tragedy till he was tipsy.

    Ebrietatis Encomium Boniface Oinophilus
  • I think he would; he did fire at me; but he was too tipsy to take aim.

    Desk and Debit Oliver Optic
  • The two girls were safe for the hour, and must endure the leering of four tipsy scoundrels.

    The Day of Wrath Louis Tracy
  • My room-mate was tipsy, but not enough so to make him anything more than silly.

    Seek and Find Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for tipsy


adjective -sier, -siest
slightly drunk
slightly tilted or tipped; askew
Derived Forms
tipsily, adverb
tipsiness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from tip²
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 tipsy

1570s, from tip (v.1); later associated with tipple. Tipsy-cake (1806) was cake saturated with wine or liquor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tipsy



Mildly drunk (1577+)

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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