adjective, tip·si·er, tip·si·est.

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 formstip·si·ly, adverbtip·si·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tipsy

Contemporary Examples of tipsy

Historical Examples of tipsy

  • Let him go and find carrots at a sou the bunch elsewhere, tipsy scoundrel that he is!

  • But never mind that now; don't get tipsy again, if you can help it, and that's all about it.

  • His tipsy companions at first assisted him with noisy cheers.

  • He told this story of the tipsy wife: She sent her son for brush to heat her oven.


    Samuel T. Pickard

  • The man talked like one tipsy, but I did not think it was with drink.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for tipsy


adjective -sier or -siest

slightly drunk
slightly tilted or tipped; askew
Derived Formstipsily, adverbtipsiness, noun

Word Origin for tipsy

C16: from tip ²
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 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