crap·​u·​lous | \ ˈkra-pyə-ləs How to pronounce crapulous (audio) \

Definition of crapulous

1 : marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking
2 : sick from excessive indulgence in liquor

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Crapulous may sound like a word that you shouldn't use in polite company, but it actually has a long and perfectly respectable history (although it's not a particularly kind way to describe someone). It is derived from the Late Latin adjective crapulosus, which, in turn, traces back to the Latin word crapula, meaning "intoxication." (The decidedly impolite word crap is unrelated; it comes from a British dialect term meaning "residue from rendered fat.") Crapula itself comes from a much older Greek word for the headache one gets from drinking too much alcohol. Crapulous first appeared in print in the 1530s. Approximately 200 years later, its close cousin crapulence arrived on the scene as a word for sickness caused by excessive drinking. Crapulence later acquired the meaning "great intemperance especially in drinking," but it is not an especially common word.

Examples of crapulous in a Sentence

a crapulous wastrel who went through the family's once-fabulous fortune in less than a decade
Recent Examples on the Web The memory ends with the image of my friend squatting, crapulous, and dumping her purse on the sidewalk. Justin Torres, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crapulous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of crapulous

circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crapulous

Late Latin crapulosus, from Latin crapula intoxication, from Greek kraipalē

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The first known use of crapulous was circa 1540

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Cite this Entry

“Crapulous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for crapulous


crap·​u·​lous | \ ˈkrap-yə-ləs How to pronounce crapulous (audio) \

Medical Definition of crapulous

1 : marked by intemperance especially in eating or drinking
2 : sick from excessive indulgence in liquor


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