See more synonyms for drunk on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
  2. overcome or dominated by a strong feeling or emotion: drunk with power; drunk with joy.
  3. pertaining to or caused by intoxication or intoxicated persons.
  1. an intoxicated person.
  2. a spree; drinking party.
  1. 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 formshalf-drunk, adjectiveun·drunk, adjective

Synonyms for drunk

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1. drunken, inebriated.

Antonyms for drunk

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.


verb (used without object), drank or (Nonstandard) drunk, drunk or, often, drank, drink·ing.
  1. to take water or other liquid into the mouth and swallow it; imbibe.
  2. to imbibe alcoholic drinks, especially habitually or to excess; tipple: He never drinks. They won't find jobs until they stop drinking.
  3. to show one's respect, affection, or hopes with regard to a person, thing, or event by ceremoniously taking a swallow of wine or some other drink (often followed by to): They drank to his victory.
  4. to be savored or enjoyed by drinking: a wine that will drink deliciously for many years.
verb (used with object), drank or (Nonstandard) drunk, drunk or, often, drank, drink·ing.
  1. to take (a liquid) into the mouth and swallow.
  2. to take in (a liquid) in any manner; absorb.
  3. to take in through the senses, especially with eagerness and pleasure (often followed by in): He drank in the beauty of the scene.
  4. to swallow the contents of (a cup, glass, etc.).
  5. to propose or participate in a toast to (a person, thing, or event): to drink one's health.
  1. any liquid that is swallowed to quench thirst, for nourishment, etc.; beverage.
  2. liquor; alcohol.
  3. excessive indulgence in alcohol: Drink was his downfall.
  4. a swallow or draft of liquid; potion: She took a drink of water before she spoke.
  5. Informal. a large body of water, as a lake, ocean, river, etc. (usually preceded by the): His teammates threw him in the drink.

Origin of drink

before 900; Middle English drinken, Old English drincan; cognate with Dutch drinken, German trinken, Gothic drinkan, Old Norse drekka
Related formsout·drink, verb (used with object), out·drank or (Nonstandard) out·drunk; out·drunk or, often, out·drank; out·drink·ing.o·ver·drink, verb (used with object), o·ver·drank or (Nonstandard) o·ver·drunk; o·ver·drunk or, often, o·ver·drank; o·ver·drink·ing.

Synonyms for drink

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2. tope. 5. quaff. 9. toast.

Synonym study

5. Drink, imbibe, sip refer to swallowing liquids. Drink is the general word: to drink coffee. Imbibe is formal in reference to actual drinking; it is used more often in the sense to absorb: to imbibe culture. Sip implies drinking little by little: to sip a cup of broth.

Usage note

As with many verbs of the pattern sing, sang, sung and ring, rang, rung, there is some confusion about the forms for the past tense and past participle of drink. The historical reason for this confusion is that originally verbs of this class in Old English had a past-tense singular form in a but a past-tense plural form in u. Generally the form in a has leveled out to become the standard past-tense form: We drank our coffee. However, the past-tense form in u, though considered nonstandard, occurs often in speech: We drunk our coffee.
The standard and most frequent form of the past participle of drink in both speech and writing is drunk : Who has drunk all the milk? However, perhaps because of the association of drunk with intoxication, drank is widely used as a past participle in speech by educated persons and must be considered an alternate standard form: The tourists had drank their fill of the scenery. See also drunk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for drunk

Contemporary Examples of drunk

Historical Examples of drunk

  • He's got a mother, but the ould woman's drunk most all the time.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • If I'm left to myself to-night I'll get drunk and go out shooting tenants.


    William J. Locke

  • "The Queen" and "the President" were drunk with all the honors.

  • The forty are drunk, and the three are but indifferent sober.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Grace had eaten little and drunk nothing; but Howe was slightly stimulated.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for drunk


  1. intoxicated with alcohol to the extent of losing control over normal physical and mental functions
  2. overwhelmed by strong influence or emotiondrunk with joy
  1. a person who is drunk or drinks habitually to excess
  2. informal a drinking bout

Word Origin for drunk

Old English druncen, past participle of drincan to drink; see drink


verb drinks, drinking, drank (dræŋk) or drunk (drʌŋk)
  1. to swallow (a liquid); imbibe
  2. (tr) to take in or soak up (liquid); absorbthis plant drinks a lot of water
  3. (tr usually foll by in) to pay close attention (to); be fascinated (by)he drank in the speaker's every word
  4. (tr) to bring (oneself into a certain condition) by consuming alcohol
  5. (tr often foll by away) to dispose of or ruin by excessive expenditure on alcoholhe drank away his fortune
  6. (intr) to consume alcohol, esp to excess
  7. (when intr, foll by to) to drink (a toast) in celebration, honour, or hope (of)
  8. drink someone under the table to be able to drink more intoxicating beverage than someone
  9. drink the health of to salute or celebrate with a toast
  10. drink with the flies Australian informal to drink alone
  1. liquid suitable for drinking; any beverage
  2. alcohol or its habitual or excessive consumption
  3. a portion of liquid for drinking; draught
  4. the drink informal the sea
Derived Formsdrinkable, adjective

Word Origin for drink

Old English drincan; related to Old Frisian drinka, Gothic drigkan, Old High German trinkan
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

Word Origin and History for 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.



Old English drincan "to drink," also "to swallow up, engulf" (class III strong verb; past tense dranc, past participle druncen), from Proto-Germanic *drengkan (cf. Old Saxon drinkan, Old Frisian drinka, Dutch drinken, Old High German trinkan, German trinken, Old Norse drekka, Gothic drigkan "to drink"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from a root meaning "to draw." Not found outside Germanic.

Most Indo-European words for this trace to PIE *po(i)- (cf. Greek pino, Latin biber, Irish ibim, Old Church Slavonic piti, Russian pit'; see imbibe).

The noun meaning "beverage, alcoholic beverage" was in late Old English.

The noun, AS. drinc, would normally have given southern drinch (cf. drench), but has been influenced by the verb. [Weekley]

To drink like a fish is first recorded 1747.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with drunk


In addition to the idioms beginning with drink

  • drink like a fish
  • drink to

also see:

  • drive someone crazy (to drink)
  • into the drink
  • meat and drink to
  • nurse a drink
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.