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 formshalf-drunk, adjectiveun·drunk, adjective

Synonyms for drunk

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for half-drunk

Contemporary Examples of half-drunk

Historical Examples of half-drunk

  • 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.


    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.


    Clement Wood

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 emotiondrunk with joy


a person who is drunk or drinks habitually to excess
informal a drinking bout

Word Origin for drunk

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

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